ARC Stockton presents the world première of These Hills Are Ours, written and performed by writer-performer Daniel Bye and singer-songwriter Boff Whalley (Chumbawamba) which explores their mutual love of running, celebrates the freedom to roam wild places – and asks what they are really running from.
Originally set to premiere nearly one year ago before COVID-19 closed theatres, These Hills Are Ours will now start its tour at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury on Friday 18 June and then touring to 16 July. The production will preview in Devon from the 17-22 May.
For the last three years Bye and Whalley have been running a series of routes, from the centre of the city in which they found themselves, to the top of the peak overlooking that city – culminating in one epic journey for Dan, more than twice as far as he has ever run before. But what were they running from?
In story and in song, this is the story of what they found out – about the relationship between city and country, between wild and controlled, about land ownership, about why we are drawn to wild places – and about how far we are prepared to go for what we believe in.
At each performance, the audience will be invited to join Bye and Whalley (who are both accomplished runners) for a run the following morning from a route the venue town/city to a green place.
These Hills Are Ours is the most personal piece of work either Dan or Boff has made, the most heartfelt, and the most direct. It’s really funny and genuinely moving.
Daniel Bye said: “Boff and I have worked together on lots of projects, from very small to large enough to warrant an AA road sign. And work conversations always had a habit of drifting into conversation about running. So we thought it was high time to make hay out of that and work together on a show with running as its starting point.
As these things do, it is evolved into something much more than that: non-runners will get just as much from this show as runners. Anyone who has ever enjoyed the countryside, celebrated freedom, done something really hard, or just wanted to run away from it all, will be at home in this show.
For those who want it, though, there is a bonus for runners: in each venue we will invite the audience to join us for a run the following morning. The route will be an escape, a route out of the town or city to the nearest high, wild, or green place. Because that is what we have done together as part of working on the show and it’s great to be able to share that with the audience in a more real setting than a post-show Q&A. Although if you do not run and do want to chat, I expect we’ll be in the bar afterwards.”
These Hills Are Ours is directed by Katharine Williams and produced by Daniel Bye, Boff Whalley and ARC Stockton. It was commissioned by Beaford Arts, Eden Project North, Lancaster Arts, Leeds Playhouse and Shoreditch Town Hall.
These Hills Are Ours will start its national tour at The Mill Arts Centre, Banbury on Friday 18 June and then will tour till 16 July. It will have an extended tour in the autumn.
For more information on These Hills Are Ours visit http://www.danielbye.co.uk/these-hills-are-ours.html