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Sunday, 21 September 2014

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Celebrity status for duo as epic journey continues

TWO strolling players who have embarked on an epic 100-mile walk say they are becoming well-known faces on the road.

The Vagabonds – Gary Bridgens and Phill Gregg – stopped off in Ulverston on Thursday evening. Mr Gregg said: “We have had a number of people tooting at us and waving.

“We have had people stepping of their gardens and patios along the route to clap us along which is incredible.”

Mr Gregg said: “People have said ‘we’ve seen you in the Evening Mail’ when they have stopped us, and my mum rings me up from the paper shop and says ‘you are in the Mail again’.”

Their odyssey of performances, mimicking players from past centuries, started on Piel Island, called at the Malt Kiln village hall in Bardsea, and arrived at the Lanternhouse in Ulverston on Thursday.

The rain moved the show inside and meant the Vagabonds were the first performers on a new small stage, which comes complete with a mini auditorium for intimate productions.

They drew an enthusiastic crowd of around 60 adults and children for their mix of funny stories and puppetry, based very loosely on characters from local history.

Naomi Edwards, 25, from Ulverston, who watched with her partner and daughter Rowan, two, said: “I think it was very engaging and quite touching at one point. It was very funny and a really good use of a small space to create a big whole world. It was one of the best things I have seen for quite a while.”

John Hall, 52, an art group director from Barrow, said: “It is a cracking little enterprise. I think it has lots and lots of potential and is the sort of thing that would work on the telly. I think it will gather momentum as it goes from venue to venue. They are naturally good improvisers.”

John Hudson from Milnthorpe said: “To be honest I didn’t know what to expect but I thought it was really entertaining. It was funny as well. They are a couple of really talented guys and their singing was good as well.”

Retired Glaxo employee Les Ord, 59, of Ulverston said: “It was very entertaining and was good street theatre. It would be nice to see them at the end of their tour to see what stories they have picked up on the way.

“It is very local to the Furness peninsula. A lot of things tend to happen up the Lakes. I think it is good we have got these two down here and that they are local stories. They have some good ideas and great props.”

The doughty pair are walking and performing every day until their finale in Barrow Park at 2pm on Sunday May 22.

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