See Tickets


Preview: Kynren at Bishop Auckland


Kynren - Land of Hope and Glory
Flatts Farm, Bishop Auckland DL14 7SF
Saturday 1stJuly- Saturday 16th September 2017

With just under two months until its opening night on 1st July, planning and preparation is in full swing for the second season of ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’ – to deliver a show that is even ‘Bigger, Better and Brighter’.

Kynren - A train celebration
Following the phenomenal success of the show in its first season, which was experienced by more than 100,000 visitors, Eleven Arches’ new creative director Steve Boyd is focusing on enriching each of the 25 scenes in the show. Visitors can expect to experience extra layers of detail, more special effects and larger cast numbers, while the soundtrack has been evolved with augmented audio effects and phased surround sound.

"Kynren is a magnificent family friendly show that distils 2000 years of County Durham History into an hour and a half. The visionaries are to be applauded for their bold confidence. So wrap up warm and head down to the farm." North East Theatre Guide review of the 2016 show

Kynren - Neville's Cross
A significant objective is to optimise each scene for maximum visual impact in the context of the depth of darkness in which each scene is performed. The earlier scenes in the story have been specifically redesigned with specialist lighting, pyrotechnics and effects for maximum impact at dusk, while later scenes make the most of the complete darkness. With show times calibrated to ensure each performance commences at the same relative light level, this important development means that the visitor experience will be consistently impressive at every performance.

Nathan Stornetta, the award-winning composer of Kynren’s spine-tingling original score has been back to evolve and extend his acclaimed arrangement with additional music compositions – not only to enhance the overall aural experience, but also to accompany a completely new scene. This sees the arrival of Britain’s iconic Celtic leader,
Queen Boudicca
Queen Boudicca, who makes a dramatic appearance with her daughters astride their cantering horses. This scene has been painstakingly developed, involving an extravagant new costume befitting such an imposing female character, and the training of Eleven Arches’ elegant Lusitano performance horses to rear up on cue and perform amidst fire and flambeaux.

Costume Supervisor Debra Willison
makes some final adjustments

Boudicca is not the only new character to feature in Kynren 2017; audiences will be treated to Augustine of Canterbury, Prince Bishop Bek, Bishop Trevor – and Henry VIII’s ‘fixer-in-chief’, Cardinal Wolsey. Several other story lines have been expanded or restaged; the Vikings, the coronation of William the Conqueror, Shakespeare’s scene and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee all benefit from new treatments, while the dialogue has been revised and enhanced throughout the entire show, engaging more female characters in narrating the story.

Horse driving expert Geoff Brown drives
the four horse chariot that appears in the show
Return visitors will also notice the addition of Lindisfarne fisherwomen, a giant Axeman at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, medieval wrestlers, a musket battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers in the English Civil War, and a thrilling WWI motorcycle chase involving German and British soldiers. As for the finale, this will be even more spectacular than before, with the entire cast involved, re-imagined mass choreography and new special effects.

Stable Manager Laurie Robinson as Queen Boudicca
- a new character for Kynren 2017
Steve and his team have been forensically reviewing every scene, adding more visual depth at every opportunity, evolving the sophistication of the fire effects, pyrotechnics and projections and increasing the complexity of the combat scenes and mass choreography. Further visual riches include Bunraku puppetry and even more flamboyant costumes – for both human and horse cast members!

The layers of detail and additional content is made possible by Steve’s creative eye and his many years of experience orchestrating large scale mass-movement events, including Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremonies stretching back to Barcelona on 1992 and most recently Rio 2016, with highlights such as London 2012 benefitting from his vision along the way. With a significantly larger cast, including a new team of 70 teenagers who have joined the Kynren team as volunteers, Steve is able to add extra depth, scale and pageantry to each scene, enriching the visual tableaux with the addition of deftly-crafted cameos such as splintering jousts and cavalry sequences.

Nor has the animal cast escaped scrutiny. Not only will visitors experience extraordinary displays of horsemanship thanks to the expert equestrian training led by the international eventer Anna Warnecke, Eleven Arches’ Head of Cavalry, the performance of the horses themselves will be even more impressive as a result of her highly technical agility training. The horses will be joined on stage by fleecy, furry and feathered friends; after a successful lambing season, audiences will see an augmented flock of Texel sheep, while the gaggle of geese will be larger than ever. There are completely new animal characters too – a donkey, three goats and a Durham Shorthorn ox have now joined the cast.

Kynren - Finale
A key development for 2017 is that visitors will find themselves more integrated with the action, as cast members in the re-imagined show make their way on stage through the audience. At one point, visitors may find themselves dreaming of a white Christmas in the height of Summer, as snowflakes gently flutter over the Tribune (wind permitting), drawing them in to the ambience of the scene.

Finally, to ensure Kynren’s second season starts with a bang and to celebrate Opening Night, extra surprises have been planned exclusively for the enjoyment of visitors attending the premiere on 1st July. However, these are being kept secret until then - the only way to find out what they are is to be there…

For more information and to book tickets, visit

Performance dates and times
July 2017
Saturday 1 July, 9.30pm
Friday 7 July, 9.30pm
Saturday 8 July, 9.30pm
Friday 14 July, 9.30pm
Saturday 15 July, 9.30pm
Friday 21 July, 9.00pm
Saturday 22 July, 9.00pm
August 2017
Friday 11 August, 9.00pm
Saturday 12 August, 9.00pm
Friday 18 August, 8.30pm
Saturday 19 August, 8.30pm
Saturday 26 August, 8.00pm
Sunday 27 August, 8.00pm
September 2017
Friday 1 September, 8.00pm
Saturday 2 September, 8.00pm
Saturday 9 September, 8.00pm
Saturday 16 September, 8.00pm

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