Having toured abroad with Lord Leicester’s Men, Will Kemp transferred to Lord Strange’s Men, playing with Ned Alleyn. Leaving them suddenly in 1599, he embarked on a publicity stunt, dancing
Having toured abroad with Lord Leicester’s Men, Will Kemp transferred to Lord Strange’s Men, playing with Ned Alleyn. Leaving them suddenly in 1599, he embarked on a publicity stunt, dancing a Morris dance all the way from London to Norwich, taking bets on reaching his goal. He published an account of his experience in a pamphlet, The Nine Daies Wonder. Jon Hooton, who helped to organise a re-enactment for the Morris Clubs of London in the 1977 Jubilee year, will tell us about Kemp’s comic roles in Shakespeare’s writing, and his jaunt to Norwich.
Jon’s talk aims to answer some of the questions about Kemp’s extraordinary feat of Morris dancing from London to Norwich, such as: Why did he do it? What did he dance? What route did he take? What was Morris dancing like in the 16th century? What happened after the dance? Why are we still talking about it?
Jon Hooton, introduced to The Rose by Blue Fire Theatre, has been dancing Morris for 50 years. He started researching Kemp in preparation for a Jubilee re-enactment, and then moved to Norwich, continuing his research and organising more re-enactments with various groups to mark the 400th anniversary of Kemp’s trip. He met Chris Harris, author of the definitive work on Kemp, Shakespeare’s Forgotten Clown, and taught him to Morris dance for a one-man show. Jon is now Squire of Kemp’s Men in Norwich.
Tickets are £6 (£5 for Friends of The Rose) and can be booked through TryBooking. You will receive a link to this Zoom event via email. Any additional contributions for The Rose Playhouse will be much appreciated and go towards funding the Rose Revealed Project.
Please note that booking for this event will close at 6.00 pm on 14 March.