Remembering Bill Mitchell

Remembering Bill Mitchell

Deepest sorrow.

Bill Mitchell -1951 - 2017

When Bill first came to work with us on our outdoor version of Tregeagle in 1988, we needed a designer and an outside eye. He watched our frustrated attempts to conjure different worlds and gave us a tower, a disc and a set of trapeziums. Our work was immediately liberated. Suddenly almost anything was possible; a never-ending fall down a mineshaft, a careering devil's chariot, a chase, a spell, a kiss, a dance. It was the start of a long and wonderful creative journey.

For Kneehigh, Bill Artistically Directed, conceived, directed and designed, building teams and exploring not only the form of outdoor theatre, but the environment itself. He was a great enabler giving, amongst many others, Anna Maria Murphy her first writing job and Emma Rice her first opportunity to direct. He was dashing, charismatic and swashbuckling as he created playgrounds fizzing with possibilities and meaning. These metaphorical worlds were for actors to dance on and for stories to come to life in. These unique theatre playgrounds were storytellers too.

Bill was all about freedom; the freedom to think differently, to see things differently and to do things differently. He gave us all freedom; the freedom to be different.

Bill was a true artist. He viewed the world with a canny eye. He held you close and took you far. He was a true visionary who lived and died in art.