London to Norwich Shakespearean morris dance completed

Rick Jones in Long Melford
Image caption Rick Jones danced about 12 miles a day through East Anglia

A man has accomplished a 100-mile (160km) morris dance from London to Norwich recreating a journey undertaken by William Shakespeare's clown in 1600.

Rick Jones, from Catford, set off from London Bridge on 23 April and danced his way through Essex and Suffolk before arriving in Norwich on Friday.

He completed the trip despite being stopped by police and enduring pain from stinging nettles and blisters.

He will officially finish his dance on 6 May at St John Maddermarket church.

In keeping with the journey undertaken by Shakespeare actor Will Kemp, he will dance again from St Stephen's Street up to City Hall to meet the lord mayor, before jumping over the wall at the church to celebrate his feat.

'Out of hospital'

"I had a real adventure," said Mr Jones, 58.

"I met loads of people and that becomes the story, really.

"I was stopped by the police in Suffolk who wondered what was up when I was dancing down the A134 outside of Bury St Edmunds.

"Someone apparently thought I'd got out of hospital or something, so I had to prove I had danced the whole way."

Image caption He went through towns and cities including Chelmsford, Long Melford and Thetford

It is thought Kemp embarked on his trip, to prove how popular he was with the public, after falling out with Shakespeare when he was turned down for a role in Hamlet.

He told the story in his account "Nine Daies Wonder".

Mr Jones' dance began on the anniversary of the day Shakespeare was believed to have been born in 1564.

He chose to complete it in nine days, as the title suggests, despite finding out only after booking hotel rooms that it actually took Kemp 23 days because his dancing was so vigorous.

During the trip Mr Jones visited Southwark, Romford, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Braintree, Long Melford, Bury St Edmunds, Thetford, Hingham and eventually Norwich.

Image caption He finished his journey in Norwich despite having a run-in with the police

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