Matt Hartley's Sixty Five Miles is a play about family connections and escaping the past, focussing on the story of a man who, after a long period in prison, tries to reclaim his life and find the daughter he has never met. It was first produced by Hull Truck Theatre and Paines Plough, and performed at Hull Truck Theatre, Hull, on 1 February 2012.
The play's action takes place in Sheffield and Hull (two cities separated by exactly sixty five miles) and in Chesterfield, in November 2005. As the play opens, Pete has just arrived at his brother Rich’s house, having served a nine-year prison sentence that has left him entirely ignorant of the whereabouts of his ex-partner and daughter. The two brothers share an intimate connection, but struggle to bridge the years and the traumatic events that have separated them. As the play proceeds, Pete’s quest for his daughter becomes intertwined with Richard’s own search for his ex-girlfriend Lucy. The differences between the two brothers, emphasised by their surrogate father Frank's behaviour towards each of them, begin to recede as the connections between them emerge across a series of episodic scenes.
The premiere production was directed by George Perrin and designed by Amy Cook. It was performed by Craige Els (as Pete), Alan Morrissey (as Rich), Becci Gemmell, Katie West (as Lucy) and Ian Bleasdale (as Frank).