Comedy company to perform in Marlborough during Ken’s Christmas Crusade

Written by Peter Davison.

Actors Thomas Jones and  Nikolai Ribnikov as Ken and SteveActors Thomas Jones and Nikolai Ribnikov as Ken and SteveThey want to tread the boards, but first comedy theatre troupe Velvet Trumpet must fundraise one step at a time in a bid to finance their next play.

Actors Thomas Jones and Nikolai Ribnikov will be performing in Marlborough on a marathon walk along the A4 from London to Swansea under the personas of an enthusiastic but misguided old man, Ken, and his less eager friend, Steve.

The pair will be undertaking the 200 miles trek – Ken’s Christmas Crusade – in just under a week, in a bid to raise funds for the company's next play, Don’t Disturb the Driver. And they'll be performing, recording and broadcasting comedy sketches along the way.

Don't Disturb the Driver is a comedy set in a Swansea coach station about a young coach driver, Will, who is about to become the UK's youngest driver to reach one million miles of service.

In the play, Will drives the Swansea to London route so Thomas and Nikolai decided to make the same journey.. on foot. Starting in Windsor on December 16, they'll stop in a different town on each consecutive day, including Reading, Marlborough, Chippenham, Bristol, Chepstow, Cardiff and Bridgend, arriving in Swansea on Christmas Eve.

Nikolai told Marlborough News Online the fundraising stunt was necessary in a difficult financial climate.

“The arts are taking a massive financial hit. Those that suffer most are invariably the small independent theatres and companies, ourselves included. 

“Does that make us want to stop producing work? No. Does it make us believe any less in what we do? Of course not.

“Money may be in short supply but the creativity of the theatre community certainly isn't,” he said.

To find out more about Velvet Trumpet and Ken’s Christmas Crusade, log on to