Preparations are well underway for the second season of Kynren – an epic tale of England. The Puy du Fou style night spectacular presented by Eleven Arches in County Durham returns for 17 performances this summer. The first will be on July 1.
Kynren’s inaugural season in 2016 attracted combined audiences of over 100,000. The action-packed blockbuster, performed on an open air stage by a volunteer cast of hundreds, celebrates 2,000 years of British history. Set against the backdrop of Auckland Castle, the fast-paced production features grand sets, fountains, pyrotechnics, video projections and other effects. An evocative soundtrack experienced in movie-like quality accompanies the show’s original script.
Eleven Arches’ new creative director Steve Boyd, an Olympic and Paralympic opening ceremony specialist, promises to enrich Kynren’s 25 scenes for 2017. An enlarged volunteer cast and increased special effects are promised. Further visual riches include Bunraku puppetry and even more flamboyant costumes – for both human and horse cast members.
There will be a completely new scene featuring Queen Boudicca. An imposing female character in British history, she makes a dramatic appearance with her daughters astride Lusitano performance horses. The animals have been trained to rear up on cue and perform amidst fire and flambeaux.
The 2017 production also includes the addition of Lindisfarne fisherwomen, 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. Other new characters include Augustine of Canterbury, Prince Bishop Bek, Bishop Trevor and Henry VIII’s ‘fixer-in-chief’, Cardinal Wolsey. The horses in the show will be joined in the arena by fleecy, furry and feathered friends. As well as sheep and geese, a donkey, three goats and a Durham Shorthorn ox have joined the cast for 2017.
Eleven Arches, which produces Kynren in collaboration with Puy du Fou, is the vision of philanthropist and investment manager Jonathan Ruffer. Together with his other charity, the Auckland Castle Trust, he hopes to establish Bishop Auckland as an international tourist destination, transforming the fortune of the former industrial area and empowering the local community.
The 2017 season for Kynren – an epic tale of England runs from July 1 to September 16, taking in selected Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. See the full schedhule here.