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Actor to remember friend with 118-mile morris dance from London to Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:36 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:36 22 February 2019

Nick Potts is set to morris dance from London to Norwich in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Picture: Katie Mills

Nick Potts is set to morris dance from London to Norwich in memory of his friend Josh Mills. Picture: Katie Mills

Archant

It was declared the 'Nine Days of Wonder', an effort by Shakespearean actor Will Kempe to dance from London to Norwich.

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 MillsNick 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 Mills

More than 400 years later, another performer will recreate the feat by morris dancing the 118-mile route in memory of a lost friend.

Starting at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on February 27, Nick Potts will jig and jingle his way through Essex and Suffolk before arriving in Norwich on March 7.

The madcap idea is the brainchild of Mr Potts and his wife, Katie, who befriended talented actor Josh Mills in 2013 and toured comedy plays together.

But in March last year, Mr Mills collapsed and died aged 28 from sudden arrhythmic heart syndrome (SADS) - a condition he did not even know existed.

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

“Josh was the one person you’d never expect this to happen to,” said Mrs Potts. “He was the ultimate traveller and he and Nick would always be going on adventures.

“A lot of people don’t realise there are 500 deaths each year due to undiagnosed heart conditions and most are young men.

“Nick has been learning morris dancing with a local troupe in Blackheath and training hard for a couple of months, but he doesn’t think anything will quite prepare him!”

As a nod to his friend, Mr Potts will mark his visit to Norwich by hosting a comedy show featuring sketches from troupes including Mr Mills’ very own ‘Shoot From The Hip’.

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

Both the morris dance and show, affectionately named ‘Just Joshin’, are aimed at increasing awareness of SADS and raising money to fund research into the condition.

“Josh’s death left a huge gap in our lives but something positive has come out of this,” added Mrs Potts.

“People have been so generous - all but one of Nick’s hotel stops are providing free accommodation and The Garage has very kindly given us use of their venue for free.

“Josh was one of a kind guy with so much potential - almost born in the wrong era because he was such a gentlemen. For Nick to do this is testament to the person he was - and Josh would have thought it was absolutely hilarious.”

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

• Just Joshin will show at The Garage on Chapel Field North from 7.30pm on March 7. To book tickets, priced at £15, visit The Garage website or call 01603 598646. All proceeds will go to the British Heart Foundation.

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