The last time we heard from Mark was via email on November 30th, 2006, two days before the incident that robbed him of his life. Mark was scheduled to play The Maniac in Dario Fo’s play, The Accidental Death of an Artist. He was upbeat and excited about the performance, and joked how his lead role in the play was his “springboard to Hollywood”.
We had seen Mark in April 2006 in London for what became a guided tour of Mark’s haunts in South London – The George Tavern, bookshops, a Tapas bar, more bars. It was a boozy affair and a lot of fun. At one stage in the proceedings, while we were on the South Bank, Pat suggested that we take a trip across the river to a wine bar he knew in Embankment. It’s a short walk across the Hungerford Bridge from South bank to Embankment. We had been drinking all afternoon, and we had been drinking heavily. Nevertheless, when the idea was put to Mark, he became quiet and diffident in a way we weren’t familiar with and refused to cross the bridge. The reason given, he expressed in one word: “Vertigo.”
So for that reason, on that afternoon, Mark walked all the way back to Waterloo to take the subway to Embankment while we crossed the bridge on foot. We waited for Mark on the other side then continued our libations.
After witnessing this, we can only insist that it is absurd – utterly absurd, just plain idiocy – to suggest that Mark would have climbed up onto a balcony for whatever reason. And it is depressing to hear that the The Met are refusing to acknowledge the obvious likelihood of foul play that night in December when Mark ‘fell’ to his death. It is disturbing too that Mrs Blanco, Mark’s mother, is having to do battle with obstacles within the bureaucracy of the UK when all she is seeking is justice for Mark.
This “accidental death” is not going to go away, and we lend our voice to the hope that justice will one day soon be done.