Now in its third year, Kynren is a live-action celebration of two thousand years of English history that can only be described as 'epic' - the perfect way to round off your summer.
How do you bring two thousand years of English history to life? If you’re Kynren, the award-winning live-action show held just outside Durham each year, you do it with a cast and crew of a thousand (yes you heard that right), fireworks, giant water-jet ballet sequences and a menagerie of animals – including live horses, sheep and goats. On top of that, you perform it on a 7.5 acre stage in front of 8,000 people. Its no surprise that most viewers rate this show as the best live performance of their lives. We’re not going to disagree. This is worth every single one of the hundreds of thousands of five-star TripAdvisor reviews online.
Set against the incredible backdrop of Auckland Castle in County Durham, the 90-minute spectacular begins in sunlight and magically culminates with fireworks set against the lake in the darkness. It opens as the dusk falls. The lake is still and you watch as King Harold rejoices, having conquered the Vikings, but his celebrations are short-lived. The tranquil waters of the lake begin to ripple and swirl as the first of several battles commence that will document England’s turbulent past. Suddenly a Norman longship erupts from the water’s depths, bearing a fierce William of Normandy and his roaring men who leap ashore, swords held high. The show continues with one striking and utterly gripping historic scene after another, each even more impressive than the last. We were spellbound.
This year the show also commemorates two very special centenaries through its theme of ‘In Remembrance’: the ‘poppies and poignancy’ of the World War I Armistice, as well as the Suffragette Movement changing the law to grant the vote to some women with the Representation of the People Act.
Kynren have also added new scenes including a World War II commemoration of the Royal Airforce, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation at Westminster Abbey, and England winning the 1966 World Cup taking centre stage. Combined with nail-bitingly bold new stunts, including horses jumping over flaming obstacles and dragging a Roman centurian along the ground at speed, you will spend every minute on the edge of your seat gawping with sheer awe.
With award-winning composer Nathan Stornetta (who has worked alongside Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean maestro Hans Zimmerman) in charge of the score, Kynren’s soundtrack only adds to this multi-sensory spectacular.
Off the stage, this year has seen Kynren’s cast and crew of 1000 local volunteers further recognised, after being awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the equivalent of an MBE for volunteer groups) for their work in the show, as well as their contribution to making Bishop Auckland an international tourist destination and bringing much needed funds to the community. Their dedication and passion has to be seen to be believed, and is the perfect reflection of the show’s name, which comes from Anglo-Saxon ‘cynren,’ meaning generation, kin or family.
With tickets still available for the last two shows of the summer, this is a spectacular treat for history-buffs, regardless of age. Dont miss this great opportunity to round your summer off in style.
Kyren: An Epic Tale of England takes place on Saturday 8th and Saturday 15th September at Flatts Farm, Toronto, Bishop’s Auckland, DL14 7SF.