Off the Ground Theatre are taking a trip to the Wild West for the first time this summer, with The Ballads of Billy the Kid. The famous outlaw and desperado who made his name as a gunslinger and fearsome cowboy in Arizona and New Mexico is the hero of this brand new play, from the minds of OTG graduates Mat Oliphant and Connor Wray.
Taking in venues across the North West, Wales and Ireland, this summer’s showdown promises to be a barnstorming, darn tootin’ hoedown of drama and delights, hilarity and big characters!
An all new piece of writing, this play makes use of different storytelling devices to whistle through the life of one of the West’s most notorious outlaws, Billy the Kid. An ensemble cast of 10 take on all roles across the stories, showing us what happens when unfortunate circumstance affects the life of a young boy, and how constant media attention and hero-worship can turn somebody into something they are not. Duels, prison breaks, saloons, bank heists, horse races and train robberies – this is the ultimate in cowboy adventure for the summer.
Come along to your local venue this summer and see for yourself how the life and times of Billy the Kid made him famous forever more! Bring something to sit on, a picnic and your favourite beverage. Soak up the sunny evenings and be transported to the Wild West, where music and frivolity go hand in hand with gunslinging and lawlessness.
Founded in 1994, Off the Ground Theatre have been taking outdoor shows on tours of the UK and wider Europe for almost 30 years. From Shakespeare to Terry Pratchett, the stories have evolved and covered numerous genres and styles. Based on the Wirral, the company now specialise in classics (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Comedy of Errors) and exciting adventure stories (The Adventures of Robin Hood, Sinbad, Zorro, The Musketeers). This year’s production was penned by OTG graduates Mat Oliphant and Connor Wray. Mat has worked with Middle Child in Hull, as well as extensively with The Adelphi and Pub Corner Poets. Connor has written for OTG previously (Sinbad, Zorro, The Adventures of Robin Hood) as well as for companies across Liverpool (Turntable Theatre, Barewater Productions) he has also written a novel (Dear Henry) published by Holland House Books.
Young people are crucial to Off the Ground Theatre’s continued work, and this year’s touring company are no different. We are delighted to welcome back recent graduates of Cronton 6th Form College’s esteemed Professional Theatre Programme, as well as Young Everyman & Playhouse (YEP) graduates to our cast, and recent graduates from OTG’s own youth theatre, in Joe Stott and Amy Hope-Thompson. For the first time, we are also thrilled to have a graduate from The Hammond School in Chester amongst our ranks, with Hannah Laithwaite, who debuts with OTG this year.
The Ballads of Billy the Kid tours from 25th July until 19th August. For a full list of venues and tickets visit www.offtheground.co.uk