Review: These Hills Are Ours at York Theatre Royal

This is the premiere of a joint project by Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley celebrating their love of running and the freedom to roam wild places. I saw the last show of this tour last night but there is a chance to see it  in October, in Sheffield.

By Angie Millard

For the past three years, the pair have been running different routes from the centre of whatever city they happened to be in. The result is a show using music and words to explore the relationship between city and country and wild and controlled environments. They provoke thought about land ownership and ask the question, how far are we prepared to go for what we believe in? 

Bye says: ‘anyone who’s ever enjoyed the countryside, celebrated freedom, done something hard or just wanted to run away from it all, will be at home in this show.’

The audience is offered the chance to join them for a run the following morning. It was to be an escape from the city to the nearest wild, high or green place.

Daniel Bye is a theatre maker with an impressive CV, he is from the North East of England. His partner Boff Whalley is the founder member of Chumbawamba and has toured with this musical ensemble for 30 years.

Together they created an intense mixture of words and folk music which made the audience feel the exhilaration and the brutality of long distance Fell Running. It was moving and worth seeing.

These Hills Are Ours was performed at York Theatre Royal on Friday 16 July 2021. It was written and performed by Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley. Direction and lighting was by Katherine Williams.