If you’re anything like me a month ago, you probably haven’t heard the word Kynren, unless you’re an avid watcher of my insta-stories, in which case a couple of Thursdays ago you would’ve been bombarded with my word du jour (I’ve uploaded the stories HERE for your viewing pleasure!). So, without keeping you on the edge of your seats, what is Kynren? Kynren is an outdoor spectacular of a show, which takes place through the summer months in the beautiful, almost Teletubby Land-like, lush, green hills of Bishop Auckland in County Durham; each of the 17 shows, which “start in daylight and end in starlight” crams 2000 years of British history into 90 minutes, showered with fireworks, peppered with live-stock and a cavalry of white horses to boot, all with bucket loads of nostalgia.
For the second year running, 1500 volunteers have come together to be choreographed, trained and dressed, in what is fast becoming a national treasure, with sell-out dates and attracting international acclaim. In short, envisage Les Mis meets War Horse, mashed with an Olympic’s opening ceremony and you’re part way there to imagining the wonder that is Kynren.
I was invited to take a sneak peek, behind the scenes, as the cast and crew began rehearsals for the season ahead. I was treated to a tour of Auckland Castle, which is the stunning backdrop for the show; met with a stallion mounted Bodica (she’s a much-anticipated addition to this year’s characters); petted the newest members of the cast – week old lambs; chatted with Olympic/Super Bowl/Grammy choreographer Steve Boyd (who just happens to be on hand overseeing rehearsals of his latest masterpiece) and rode in a horse drawn chariot fit for Maximus Decimus Meridius (Russell Crowe to you and me!).
If you’re facing a summer hols without an actual holiday booked, as we are, I really would recommend a trip to Bishop Auckland to see Kynren. We’re heading back up just as soon as they open their doors and I can’t wait to see the wonder on the boys’ faces as a 16m, Viking long boat rises from the lake; a medieval joust plays out; the industrial revolution unfolds and a pyrotechnical finale to rival a Disney parade lights up the night sky.
Direct trains run regularly from London King’s Cross and flights to Newcastle can be an exciting way to start your staycation; I stayed at the sublime Headlam Hall for my trip, so always worth a look if you’re looking to stay in the area. Tickets are available online HERE and in case my wordsmithery has left you bamboozled by the mind-blowing wonder that is Eleven Arches’ Kynren, here’s a trailer…
Whilst Kynren have sponsored this post, as always -all opinions an recommendations are my own.