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Madcap Nick completes 118-mile Morris dance from London to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 13:13 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 13:14 08 March 2019

Nick Potts has replicated Shakesperean actor Will Kempe's dance from London to Norwich, in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Nick outside the Maddermarket Theatre - where Kempe arrived 400 years ago. Picture: Katie Potts

Nick Potts has replicated Shakesperean actor Will Kempe's dance from London to Norwich, in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Nick outside the Maddermarket Theatre - where Kempe arrived 400 years ago. Picture: Katie Potts

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An intrepid actor has completed a 118-mile morris dance in memory of a friend, raising more than £7,000 in the process.

While on tour together, Nick (left) and Josh performed as famous Shakespearean actors Will Kempe and Richard Burbage. Picture: Courtesy of Katie PottsWhile on tour together, Nick (left) and Josh performed as famous Shakespearean actors Will Kempe and Richard Burbage. Picture: Courtesy of Katie Potts

More than 400 years after Shakespearean actor Will Kempe danced from London to Norwich, Nicholas Potts has successfully recreated the famous feat by jigging his way through London, Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk.

Mr Potts was raising funds for the British Heart Foundation in memory of his friend Josh Mills, who collapsed and died in March last year from sudden arrhythmic heart syndrome (SADS) - a condition he did not even know existed.

The pair met in 2013 and toured comedy plays together alongside Mr Potts’ wife, Katie, who said the dance was exactly the kind of madcap idea Mr Mills would have embraced.

Nick Potts (middle) with his wife Katie and their friend Josh Mills. Nick is set to morris dance from London to Norwich in Mr Mills' memory. Picture: Courtesy of Katie PottsNick Potts (middle) with his wife Katie and their friend Josh Mills. Nick is set to morris dance from London to Norwich in Mr Mills' memory. Picture: Courtesy of Katie Potts

“Everything about this idea was very Josh - he would’ve loved it,” said Mrs Potts. “The thing that got Nick through was the sheer buzz and excitement of it all.

“What struck us the most was the generosity and kindness people showed. They would go to the hotels Nick was staying at just to meet him and go out to support him when he went through their town or village.”

Upon his arrival in Norwich on Thursday afternoon, Mr Potts recreated Kempe’s jump over the wall of St John Maddermarket church.

Nick Potts has replicated Shakesperean actor Will Kempe's dance from London to Norwich, in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Picture: Katie PottsNick Potts has replicated Shakesperean actor Will Kempe's dance from London to Norwich, in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Picture: Katie Potts

He then capped off proceedings by hosting a special comedy show affectionately named ‘Just Joshin’, featuring sketches from troupes including Mr Mills’ very own ‘Shoot From The Hip’.

“Everything worked out perfectly with Nick arriving in Norwich at 5pm on the dot and the comedy night was absolutely fantastic,” added Mrs Potts.

“We’ve crunched the numbers and we’ve reached in excess of £7,000 from online and physical donations. That should fund roughly two-and-a-half months-worth of research for the British Heart Foundation, which is exactly why we did it.

Nick and Katie Potts befriended Josh Mills (left) in 2013 and toured plays with him around Europe. Picture: Courtesy of Katie PottsNick and Katie Potts befriended Josh Mills (left) in 2013 and toured plays with him around Europe. Picture: Courtesy of Katie Potts

“Just Giving even got in touch and said Josh was one of the top 1pc of fundraisers in the country. Our overall target is £50,000 which is a bit crazy, but we’re going to continue fundraising in Josh’s memory.”

You can still donate to the British Heart Foundation by visiting Mr Potts’ Just Giving page.

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