STAGE REVIEW: These Hills Are Ours @ ARC, Stockton (06.07.21) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Writer and performer Daniel Bye and former Chumbawamba founder and fellow fell runner, Boff Whalley, planned to escape the city and embark on an ultra fell run scaling Clougha Fell near Lancaster before running down the spine of England through the Pennines. The eventual destination was the Derbyshire peak of Kinder Spout the scene of the Mass Trespass in 1932. This would be a lockdown challenge celebrating the right to roam when the barbed wire fences and private signs were first rolled back by that mass protest from ramblers.

At least that was the plan but, as Boff told us, a freak injury on his own staircase left Daniel to endure a solo adventure with Boff offering support from his campervan.

The recounting of that journey made for a really engaging evening’s theatre. Daniel took us through his struggles, almost one fell at a time and Boff regaled us with songs. Gradually Daniel’s efforts began to unravel and it seemed more like a trial by ordeal, yet Boff brought us back down from those peaks of torment with ear-worm tunes and folk tunes. The contrasts between our two characters sitting between the barbed wire and cairn on stage proved every bit as fascinating as the story of the challenge. I will never again take for granted running for the hills.

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