When a writer and a songwriter go running together

Published: 10 May 2021
Reporter: Peter Lathan

Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley
Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley

Performer / writer Daniel Bye and singer / songwriter Boff Whalley love running and, in a new show, These Hills Are Ours, they explore this love, celebrate the freedom to roam wild places and ask what they are really running from—and they invite audiences to join them for a run to a local high, wild or green space on the morning after seeing the show.

“Boff and I have worked together on lots of projects, from very small to large enough to warrant an AA road sign,” said Bye, “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.”

Daniel Bye comes from Middlesbrough and his work includes the solo shows Arthur, The Price of Everything, Instructions for Border Crossing and Going Viral, and ensemble shows How to Occupy an Oil Rig and Tiny Heroes.

Boff Whalley is best known as a founder member of Chumbawamba, with whom he wrote, played guitar and toured for thirty years and since then he has written plays for Red Ladder and the West Yorkshire Playhouse, as well as choral music. His plays include Armley—The Musical, Riot, Rebellion and Bloody Insurrection (Red Ladder), Barbara Taylor-Bradford and Alan Bennett… (Slung Low) and Sex and Docks and Rock ‘n’ Roll (Red Ladder).

With direction and lighting design by Katharine Williams, the play was commissioned by Beaford Arts, Eden Project North, Lancaster Arts, Leeds Playhouse and Shoreditch Town Hall and produced by ARC Stockton, supported by Arts Depot and inov-8.

These Hills Are Ours tours in June and July to:

Friday 18 : Mill Arts Centre, Banbury
Wednesday 23 : The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, Havant

Friday 2: Trowbridge Town Hall
Tuesday 6 to Wednesday 7: ARC, Stockton
Friday 9: Alnwick Playhouse & Arts Centre
Tuesday 13 to Wednesday 14: Harrogate Theatre @ St Wilfrid's Church
Thursday 15: MAC, Birmingham
Friday 16: York Theatre Royal