Norwich Poet to retrace the steps of famous dancer for charity

From left: Tom Francis, Andy Bennett, Adam Warne. Photo: Gill Francis.

From left: Tom Francis, Andy Bennett, Adam Warne. Photo: Gill Francis. - Credit: Gill Francis

A Norwich poet will be walking in the footsteps of famous Tudor actor William Kemp as he makes the trip from London to Norwich to raise money for the MS Society.

Poet Andy Bennett performs at the International Workers Day concert in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich.

Poet Andy Bennett performs at the International Workers Day concert in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

Andy Bennett, 40, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) three years ago and accompanied by two friends, will be walking from Shakespeare's Globe in London to the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich.

The nine day walk is in imitation of Will Kemp's famous Nine Days' Wonder of 1600 where he Morris danced from London to Norwich.

Setting off on July 3 the group hope to raise £2,000 to help those affected by MS and drive research into finding a cure.

Mr Bennett will be joined by Tom Francis, whose father lives with MS, and Adam Warne, a PhD student who is studying Kemp's famous Morris dance as the three attempt to walk and dance the 117 mile route.


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MS affects more than 100,000 people in the UK and it is different for each person diagnosed but it can be painful and cause problems with movement.

Poet and Comedian Mr Bennett said: 'Because of my condition, I have to use a walking stick, so even walking more than a mile is a challenge. Walking 13 a day is starting to seem a little crazy.'

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He has written and performed a show at the Edinburgh Fringe about his MS.

'In every audience I played to, there was someone with MS, or who had a family member with the disease,' Mr Bennett added. 'It's such a prevalent condition. When I was first diagnosed, my doctor told me to keep it a secret. I couldn't see how this helped anyone. So that show and this walk are as much to raise awareness as to raise money. The more MS is understood, the more we can help people.'

Training for the challenge has been going well and Mr Bennett is confident about the challenge.

He said: 'With two good friends beside me, I'm sure I'll be fine. As long as I get somewhere to sit down every hour.'

Donations can be made on the walkers just giving page. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ninedayswander

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