Shakespeare morris dance from London to Norwich

Arthur Smith and Rick Jones Image copyright Rick Jones
Image caption Rick Jones (r) will perform with comedian and broadcaster Arthur Smith before setting off

A man is morris dancing his way from London to Norwich to recreate the journey undertaken by William Shakespeare's clown in 1600.

Rick Jones, from Catford in London, will set off from London Bridge later and dance through Essex and Suffolk before arriving in Norwich on 1 May.

The journey was first undertaken by Shakespeare actor Will Kemp.

Mr Jones' dance begins on what is believed to be the day Shakespeare was born in 1564.

It is thought the actor and clown Kemp embarked on his trip to prove how popular he was with the public, after falling out with Shakespeare.

Image copyright Rick Jones
Image caption Rick Jones hopes to complete his morris dancing challenge in nine days

Mr Jones intends to complete Kemp's "Nine Daies Wonder" 100-mile (160 km) journey in nine days, although it actually took Kemp about a month.

"He danced very vigorously so had to take three or four days off at a time before starting again," Mr Jones said.

"I won't be dancing like that."

'With bells on'

In fact, he admits he has only attended two sessions with Blackheath Morris Men who taught him a "few steps".

The troupe will dance with him on London Bridge before waving him off on his solo journey.

Wearing a doublet, hose, a hat with bells and carrying his lute and ribbons, Mr Jones said he intends to morris dance on the way in and out of the towns on his route.

These will be Southwark, Romford, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Braintree, Long Melford, Bury St Edmunds, Thetford, Hingham and eventually Norwich.

"I'll sort of skip the rest of the time," he said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It is thought Shakespeare was born on 23 April 1564

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