London – A musical about running, at the end of which the audience goes on tour with the actors they saw on stage. It’s definitely the original idea These hills are ours (These Hills Are Ours), the play which opened in Banbury, County Oxford, and then began a tour around England. The title refers to a protest that made history: In 1932 hundreds of protesters clashed with police in Kinder Scout, a swampy plateau in the Peak District, one of the UK’s most outstanding and most beautiful nature reserves. The purpose of the event was to claim the right to walk inside the vast estates of the land owners in the area, because those hills that are reserved by nature, as stated in one of the slogans, “belong to all.” The event caused arrests and injuries but had the advantage of stirring public opinion. The ‘right of way’ over private property is now confirmed and protected by specific law.
Ninety years ago, running was not a popular sport: protesters simply defended the right to walk in the countryside. Shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, actors, playwrights and amateur runners Daniel Bay and Buff Whalley had the idea of escaping from their homes in Lancaster, a town north of Manchester, to Kinder Scott Hill, to celebrate a legal victory. 1932: A 150-kilometer road, demanding and impenetrable. Upon reaching the goal, muddy and tired, the two friends thought their rural adventure could be the subject of a musical comedy, ironic but not without controversy over a society in which an aristocracy continues to own vast estates in the countryside.
The musical is now appearing for the first time in the theatre. The two-hour show focuses on Bey’s journey to the Peak District, an area where many writers have set their work, from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” to Walter Scott’s novels, while Wally follows him by car to feed and help him. him if necessary. This feat isn’t easy: the runner must overcome steep climbs, face a snowstorm, and find their way back when they get lost. A metaphor for life and a lesson for everyone who loves running through the suburbs.
Then, when the curtain falls, the spectators share: Presumably, if one comes to see a musical show about running, one would love to run. For this reason, the audience is invited to join the authors, the morning after the performance, to run together: from the stage where the show was held to the nearest park or countryside. It’s not mandatory, of course, but the writers hope that many of the people who bought the ticket are ready to get into the spirit of the show, put on their shoes and run together the next day.