Arts that matter in places that matter

These Hills Are Ours

Friends and collaborators Daniel Bye and Boff Whalley

Do you ever want to run away from it all?

This week Devon is hosting 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 open nearly one year ago before COVID-19 closed theatres, These Hills Are Ours will premiere in Devon from the 17-22 May. It is presented in partnership between Beaford Arts and Villages in Action and will visit small communities throughout Devon.

For the last three years Dan and Boff have been running a series of routes, from the centre of the town in which they found themselves, to the top of the peak overlooking that town – culminating in one epic journey for Dan, more than twice as far as he is ever run before. But what were they running from?

Dan and Boff’s “Wild Tour of Devon” will see them running from show to show, between performances in five rural locations across the whole county, and covering nearly 120 miles in the course of the week. Local runners are invited to join them along the way and their progress can be tracked live via OpenTracking.

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 about much more than that: non-runners will get just as much from this show as runners. Anyone who is 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 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.”

These Hills Are Ours is directed by Katharine Williams and produced by Daniel Bye, Boff Whalley and ARC Stockton. It was commissioned by North Devon’s pioneering rural arts organisation Beaford, Eden Project North, Lancaster Arts, Leeds Playhouse and Shoreditch Town Hall.

For more information on These Hills Are Ours visit


Sun 16th – Northam Burrows to Woolsery – 12 miles
Mon 17th – in person rehearsal for the first time and open the show in Woolsery.
Tue 18th – Woolsery to Dolton – 22 miles
Wed 19th – Dolton to Bondleigh – 10 miles, with a show in the evening
Thu 20th – Bondleigh to Chagford, via Taw Head and Dart Head – 25-26 miles, with a show in the evening
Fri 21st – Chagford to Ashburton – 16 miles, with a show in the evening
Sat 22nd – Ashburton to Blackadon Farm – 12 miles, with a show in the evening
Sun 23rd – Blackadon Farm to Sugary Cove – 20 miles, final choir performance. If you are a singer and would like to join us to perform the final song please contact

(Please note that these shows are all very-limited capacity but tickets are still available for the Friday night performance at the Tinners Moon Festival. Head to our Events page to find out more.)

© 2021 Villages in Action.