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Kynren - An Epic Tale of England

Jul 21

Written by:
21 July 2017 08:56  RssIcon

FOLLOWING a successful inaugural season, ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England’, has returned to North-East England to wow the crowds in 2017.

Set against the magnificent backdrop of Auckland Castle, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, the show packs more than 2,000 years of British history into an amazing 90 minute show.

And this year promises to be even more spectacular, with more than 1,500 professionally trained volunteers, under the watchful eye of US-born creative director Steve Boyd, bringing to life events from the Roman occupation to WWII.

Steve, who has helped to choreograph 13 consecutive Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremonies, including London 2012, and Rio 2016, was keen to evolve the offering of last year, making it bigger, better and even more spectacular.

He said: “To a viewer who has come back for a second year, Kynren will be even better and more captivating. Now the premise is there, we have focused on making the most of the staging, casting, costume, lighting and tying it in with the stunning music.”

New additions for this year include thrilling scenes featuring warrior Queen Boudicca, storming the stage accompanied by her daughters astride horses, battling with their Roman oppressors on the banks of a lake, from which scenes rise and fall.

This year audiences also meet the Venerable Bede, Prince Bishop Bek and Cardinal Wolsey, alongside 34 performance horses, flocks of sheep, a gaggle of geese, two donkeys and a pair of Durham shorthorn oxen.

All this is part of Steve’s plan to add extra depth and detail to last year’s show, which attracted more than 100,000 visitors. Almost a quarter of those came from outside the North-East, from all over the UK and the world, including the USA, China, South Africa and the Middle East.

Kynren features flamboyant special effects, such as the Viking longboat rising from the lake, and a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket trundling across the massive stage, accompanied by cheering crowds, plus dazzling pyrotechnics, including a fabulous fireworks finale to the strains of Land of Hope and Glory.

The award-winning composer of Kynren’s original score, Nathan Stornetta, has evolved and extended his powerful original composition, which has been extended by the touching addition of the Miner’s hymn Gresford, performed by the Spennymoor and Ferryhill Colliery bands, and recorded specially for the show in Durham Cathedral.

The dialogue for this year’s show has also been entirely reworked, and now features the distinctive North-East tones of Kevin Whately, best known for his roles in Auf Wiedershen Pet, Inspector More and Lewis.

Kevin plays the part of Old Arthur, the character who reveals the secret of time travel to Young Arthur, and sets him off across the ages on a quest to learn the meaning of the word Kynren.

The show offers compelling family entertainment for all generations and ages, and judging by the audience reaction to the preview, both young and old, it’s a show not to be missed.

Produced by Eleven Arches, the 2017 season features 17 performances across Friday and Saturday evenings throughout July, August and September. It is just the latest manifestation of the reinvigoration of Bishop Auckland, since philanthropist Jonathan Ruffer donated £15 million to the Auckland Castle Trust to prevent the loss of 12 paintings by Francisco de Zurbaran, present in the palace since 1756, and which the church wanted to sell.

He has invested a further £18 million to restore the palace itself, to set up Kynren, and to create a museum of Christianity, due to open in 2018 For more information, visit www.kynren.co.uk.