AFTER the terror attack in Manchester, one man doing his best to raise spirits is Emlyn Lewis .
The Irishman, known unofficially as the Mario Busker, moved to Liverpool in September 2016 before moving to Manchester earlier this year, where he has been busking in costume since 2012.
The film and television graduate went viral in 2014 when he dressed as Sonic the Hedgehog and raced the Luas in Dublin.
He has also performed as other pop culture icons such as Darth Vader, but has retired the Sith lord until Star Wars returns in December.
Speaking to The Irish Post, Emlyn said it felt right to bring a bit of cheer to the streets of Manchester in one of its darkest weeks.
Weirdly Manchester that pic.twitter.com/vMh7CIDHai
— Nooruddean (@BeardedGenius) May 23, 2017
“People were a bit closed off and had their heads down at first but about 40 minutes in, people started to loosen up a bit again,” he said.
The city is understandably still on edge – nearby Arndale Centre was evacuated after a false alarm while Emlyn was still performing.
“At about 11:15am yesterday 200 people started running from something in a panic and the shops closed for about 40 minutes,” Emlyn explained.
“I had all my music gear with me so all I could do was stay put and hope it was a false alarm.”
The 32-year-old has been busking for the best part of a decade, and has taken to Mancunian life since his move in January.
“One old woman wasn’t happy with what I was doing and completely disrespected me while I was performing, but I don’t blame her.
"People are understandably stressed."
Guy at Manchester Market St playing Zelda dressed as Mario. I love this city. pic.twitter.com/LhFCOUAxXa
— Scott (@skoteh) May 21, 2017