Kevin Spacey made a surprise appearance at an Oxford lecture honoring late conservative philosopher Roger Scruton on Monday night, performing in front of an audience for the first time since 2019.

In a clip from the event titled “what Shakespeare can teach us about cancel culture” The Spectator associate editor Douglas Murray invited Spacey on stage to perform a monologue from “Timon of Athens

In an era of cancellation and defenestration we sometimes forget that we cannot go on like this and that we have been here before. We know this because our greatest writers and artists have addressed this question in their own times” Murray said, referencing when Scruton was briefly dismissed from a government commission in 2019 over offensive remarks he made in an interview with the New Statesman.

“It’s about what happens when a society drops a person for no reason” Murray told the Times about the particular scene. “It’s something that has been on Kevin’s mind, as it was on Roger Scruton’s mind, so I said I want him to be back on stage in the U.K.”

Spacey then delivered the performance, making his way through the crowd before saying the monologue’s final line: “I am sick of this false world, and will love it not!” Spacey dramatically stormed out of the room before reentering, and was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience.

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