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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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The show must go on

THE show goes on for an entertainment duo who are trekking across South Cumbria – despite one half of the act being taken to hospital during their epic tour.

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HOME IN SIGHT: Entertainers Phill Gregg (front) and Gary Bridgens of Headzup Theatre, who are on the final week of their tour

Gary ‘Gacko’ Bridgens, of the Vagabonds, tore his calf muscle while pushing ‘Dolly’ the cart in Windermere with fellow funnyman Phil ‘Lord’ Gregg on Saturday.

The artists of Headzup Theatre, Barrow, have been on the road since May 3 travelling on foot and performing shows along the way for locals and visitors.

Their trip is inspired by the travels of Walter Wilkinson, a world famous showman and puppeteer, who toured the British Isles and the United States during the 1920s and 1930s.

But on Saturday Dolly – which carries all the equipment and transforms into a puppet theatre – picked up speed while going down a hill and Gacko stepped out in front of the cart and felt a snap and pain in his leg.

The drama happened as the pair were heading for a show near Windermere Station.

Gacko went to Westmorland General Hospital accident and emergency department in Kendal to be treated, so the show had to be cancelled.

Today’s shows at Brockhole and Ambleside were due to go ahead with the injured entertainer, but he is having to get a lift to the venues.

‘Lord’ Gregg is now pushing Dolly with a series of guest walkers until his partner is active again.

Mr Bridgens said: “I leapt like a spring gazelle in front of Dolly to tackle her like an All Blacks forward and something snapped in the back of my calf.

“It’s not as bad as it could have been, thankfully my sister-in-law is a physiotherapist and she has checked me out and she concurs with the nurses that it is a ripped calf.

“I can’t walk very well and I can’t push Dolly so we are having a succession of friends and fellow showmen coming to help push her along and I’m going to get chauffeured to the performances.

“It is very disappointing as I wanted to do every single step, it is something I have been planning, negotiating, and dreaming about for a long time. To finally get here and twang something half way round is a shame.”

Mr Bridgens aims to get back walking as soon as he can for the this week’s final legs of the journey building up to the homecoming at Barrow Park Bandstand on Sunday.

Have you seen the guys perform? Are you looking forward to them coming to your town? Have your say with the comment box below

Have your say

Just seen the Vagabonds at Kirkby-In-Furness tonight. They were superb. Setting was perfect, performing in a corner of the cricket field in front of St Cuthbert's Church on a sunny (if cold) evening, to an audience of more than 50 locals, including a group of Brownies. The Vagabonds deserve a medal for their three-week walking journey through Furness and South Cumbria. Great advert for the area with their local stories, songs and humour. Askam and Dalton performances on Saturday before their homecoming on Sunday. Come on Barrow, let's give them a fitting homecoming to Barrow Park.

Posted by jon on 20 May 2011 at 20:02

Fantastic-went to watch them at Broughton tonight, their enthusiasm and talent shone through, my 10 year old really enjoyed it and all the stories and songs were excellent. Hope they have a dry journey home and that lots of people welcome them back to Barrow.

Posted by Rachel Sheard on 19 May 2011 at 21:33

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