Bill Mitchell’s vision was to create his own company to explore theatre that involved place and the people who belong to it. Over the years Bill’s vision and ideas grew into large scale, acclaimed shows including ‘The Beautiful Journey’, ‘Soutterain’, ‘Wolf’s Child’ and the ‘The Passion’, for which Bill was awarded Best Director for at the TMA’s in 2011.
Bill had worked as director /designer with Perspectives, Theatre Centre in London, Roundabout Young Peoples Theatre, Walk the Plank and the Young Vic Theatre in London.
As a freelance designer he worked with many theatre companies including Avon Touring, Theatre Foundry, Birmingham Rep, Soho Poly, the Royal National Theatre, The Donmar Theatre, Lyric Theatre Hammersmith and with The Shaman Company in Budapest.
In 1988 Bill became a member of the Kneehigh team, going on to be their Artistic Director from 1995 until 2005.
For Kneehigh he devised and directed many productions including ‘Ship of Fools’, ‘Carmen’ and ‘Arabian Nights” and designed most shows from ‘Tregeagle’ in 1989. His design projects included, ‘The Red Shoes’, ‘The Bacchae’, ‘Tristan & Yseult’ ‘Nights at the Circus’ and ‘A Matter Of Life And Death ‘ all directed by Emma Rice,
His work has been seen in Europe, USA, China, Syria, Australia and New Zealand.
Over the years has created many large site-specific and landscape theatre projects including ‘Ghost Nets’,’ Hells Mouth’ and ‘A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings’. This last production was inspired by a Gabriel Garcia Marquez short story,
This event performed to great acclaim in Malta (2003), Cyprus (2004) and in 2005 performed to sell out audiences in Hayle, Cornwall.
Bill died at Easter 2017 surrounded by his partner Sue and his WildWorks friends and family. Despite being very unwell with cancer Bill continued to work with passion and enthusiasm on WildWorks projects up until his last day. He had been heavily involved in the current slate of projects including the summer production for 2018. Bill was at the peak of his creativity, excited by plans for the coming years. He has left us a tremendous legacy, a blueprint for creating world class landscape theatre and a series of projects which WildWorks will deliver as a team.
At a team production meeting in April 2017 Bill said “This is life, this is what happens but the work will continue, it will develop and it will be brilliant.”