After years of hearing rave reviews of Kynren – An Epic Tale of England, I have finally experienced it for myself (thanks to a recent press launch) and now I am one of those people eagerly telling anyone who will listen how amazing it is! If you’re on the fence about whether or not to go and see it then hopefully this blog post will give you the nudge you need and if you’ve never heard of Kynren or you’re wondering what it’s all about, well, read on, I shall explain!
What is Kynren?
It’s a 90 minute live action show that takes the audience on a breath-taking journey through 2,000 years of British history. It brings to life the moments that have shaped our country through the eyes of a central character, a young boy named Arthur who travels through time to discover ‘the story of us’.
Kynren is performed in the great outdoors on a ‘stage’ that is over 7.5 acres, against the stunning backdrop of Auckland Castle in County Durham. The unique setting is one of the many things that makes it so special and gives a different experience to every show.
An 8,000-seat amphitheatre known as the Tribune gives the audience an uninterrupted view of the action, but with so much happening you’re likely to notice completely different things to the person sat next to you. I wasn’t sure where to look and James and I were nudging each other all the way through, pointing out the amazing things we could see.
A cast and crew of over 1000 amazing volunteers have worked their socks off to create something truly wonderful in Kynren; A world-class immersive experience packed with sensational performances, evocative music, daring stunts, state-of-the-art special effects and spine tingling fireworks. I don’t know how they pack so much in to an hour and a half but they truly deserved it when they were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Where is it?
The Kynren site is on a former golf course on the outskirts of Bishop Auckland in County Durham. It’s remote but it is easily accessible. It took us about 45 minutes to drive there from Newcastle, we parked in one of Kynren’s three car parks then took a shuttle bus to the site.
If you are planning to arrive by car, you must purchase a parking voucher at the same time as your show tickets, you’ll also need to allow time to get through security. All is explained on the Kynren website, I looked the location up on Google maps to familiarise myself before we set off and had no bother at all.
What to Expect
As I mentioned earlier, Kynren is an outdoor experience that takes place in the evening. Thankfully it was a warm night when I went to see it and we were treated to a spectacular sunset. However, the North East weather can be a bit unpredictable and the performance will go head even if it rains so be sure to wear appropriate clothing, it can get a bit chilly. I would also recommend a poncho as umbrellas are not permitted. Flat shoes are also a must as the natural landscape of the site is a bit hilly in places.
There is no interval during Kynren so you might want to take advantage of the Food Village before the show starts.
That’s some basic housekeeping, you can find out more when you book but in terms of the show itself you can expect to laugh, cry, be amazed, get goosebumps and come away feeling more patriotic than you’ve ever felt before! Yes, there are battle re-enactments and historical moments but Kynren has something for everyone, it’s not just for history buffs!
I don’t want to give away too much as the element of surprise is one of the things I loved most about Kynren. However, I will say that although this is the show’s third season there are lots of new scenes for 2018. The theme for this year is ‘In Remembrance’ and two very important centenaries are celebrated, World War I Armistice and Votes for Women.
The special effects fill the show with mesmerising moments, I loved the giant waterjets and some of the stunts had me gasping in amazement, especially the horses jumping over fire!
When to Go
There are 17 performances planned for Summer 2018, I’ve put the full list of dates and times below. I would suggest that if you’re taking children along that you opt for one of the earlier showings, otherwise it’s quite a late finish!
- Saturday 30th June 9.30pm
- Saturday 7th July 9.30pm
- Saturday 14th July 9.30pm
- Saturday 21st July 9.00pm
- Saturday 28th July 9.00pm
- Friday 3rd August 8.30pm
- Saturday 4th August 8.30pm
- Friday 10th August 8.30pm
- Saturday 11th August 8.30pm
- Friday 17th August 8.30pm
- Saturday 18th August 8.30pm
- Saturday 25th August 8.30pm
- Sunday 26th August 8.30pm
- Friday 31st August 8.00pm
- Saturday 1st September 8.00pm
- Saturday 8th September 7.30pm
- Saturday 15th September 7.30pm
How Much Does it Cost?
There are a range of ticket options available with prices varying depending on age and where you choose to sit. Adult tickets range from £25 – £59, children (4-11) go for 50% off the adult price and young adults (12-15) go for 25% off the adult price. Children 3 and under are free when sat on an adults knee.
There are discounts for group bookings and I’ve heard rumours of Groupon deals so choose your date then work out the best deal for you.
Is it Worth It?
Absolutely! Kynren is without a doubt one of the most unique and entertaining theatre experiences I’ve ever had. When you compare the ticket price to a cinema trip or the cost of going to a regular theatre it really does compare well.
How to Book
Head on over to www.kynren.com to get your hands on tickets and find out anything else you need to know. There’s even a trailer on the website to give you more of an insight in to what to expect. I hope you love it as much as I did!
Thank you to Eleven Arches for the press night invite and for supplying some images for this post. All words and opinions are mine.