Following in the many footsteps of Will Kempe
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
In 1600, the actor and dancer Will Kempe, Morris-danced from London to Norwich – and now UEA graduate Rick Jones has recreated his journey.
It's known as the Nine Days' Wonder because of the time it took Kempe to cover the 108 miles.
Freelance journalist Mr Jones, 58, followed in Kempe's footsteps ahead of the celebrations for the 400th Shakespeare anniversary next year.
Kempe appeared in a number of Shakespeare's early plays.
His journey began at Southwark cathedral, where he was joined by a fellow UEA graduate, comedian and writer, Arthur Smith.
You may also want to watch:
From there, he danced through Romford, Brentwood, Chemsford, Braintree, Long Melford, Bury St Edmunds, Thetford, Hingham, and finally on to Norwich.
Dressed in garb similar to Kempe's, complete with jester hat and Morris dancing handkerchiefs – Jones described the trek as 'very, very tiring.'
- 1 Elderly man took his clothes off at Norwich park
- 2 Tributes to popular Tesco worker with 'sparkling personality'
- 3 Revealed: How much to rent former high street store
- 4 School shut after ceiling tile falls on to class of children
- 5 Amazing photos show storms over Norfolk – and there are more to come
- 6 Drag Race star Bimini spotted shopping in Norwich
- 7 Masterplan for 4,000-homes Colman's regeneration to go on show
- 8 Britain's poshest train came to Norwich and Ipswich and it was pure luxury
- 9 Samson and Hercules building reopens under new owners
- 10 Teen motorcyclist taken to hospital after crash with bus in Norwich
To finish the outfit, the 58 year old also carried a lute, made 35 years ago, by Norwich local David Van Edwards.
Mr Jones said he took on the challenge 'just to see if I could.'
The reaction of the public varied, he said: 'People were either put off or intrigued. I had horns hooting, people waving and shouting good luck.'
Mr Jones' official entrance into Norwich will be on May 6, when he will arrive at St Stephen's roundabout at 9.30am. From here, he will dance into the city centre and up the steps of City Hall, accompanied by other Morris dancers. There he will be greeted by the Lord Mayor, Judith Lubbock.
Mr Jones has had some Morris dance training, as he was taught by the Blackheath Morris group in preparation for the task. His family – wife Ronnie and children John, Bruce and Jane – are unsurprised by his actions, as he has previously recreated other journeys made by Elgar, Bach, Mendelsson and Handel.
Are you undertaking a historical re-enactment? Email firstname.lastname@example.org