Author Archives: Andrew Corry

About Andrew Corry

Looking for opportunities as a part time freelance writer. All voluntarily work will be considered to help build my portfolio. UK Blogging Awards 2017 Finalist for my Kynren Blog - My Experience. The awards ceremony was held at Westminster, London in April 2017. I currently write for a number of clients based in business, tourism and music related industry's. For all enquiries please contact me at: corry.andrew@sky.com for further details.

Season 3 – Kynren Is Back!

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Tonight sees the return of Kynren for it’s third season, but it really doesn’t feel like yesterday from the moment we all volunteered.

Kynren has transitioned and grown since the first year, really even before that.

Thinking back to the moment Eleven Arches and Bishop Auckland announced that Kynren was going to happen, I was pleased but I had absolutely no intention of becoming involved.

I had many other “things” going on in my life, and whilst I thought it was fantastic for the area and the town, I wasn’t committed to being a part of it.

How wrong could I possibly be?

I got involved in Kynren around 6 months before the very first show of the very first season.

Friends constantly encouranging me to join and be a part of something that they could see was going to be special.

Week by week, they wore me down, and because of them, in that moment and moments, they gave me the greatest thing they could possibly give me.

They introduced me to a world of volunteering.

Until you do volunteer, whether it’s Kynren, whether it’s also Bishop FM for me, a charity, a sports club or whatever it is, it changes you.

Volunteering gives you a chance to not only give back to someone or something that needs and appreciates your time, but it allows you to really discover the person who you are, and all and everything that you are truly capable of, without actually knowing it.

Kynren has and will keep continuing to change lives, because it certainly has with mine.

I’m more aware of people than I ever have been before, I would always class myself as a people person, but to truly understand people of all wavelengths, some that are not necessarily who would fit your model, but then go onto becoming not only a friend, but a good friend, that you can depend on for life.

Kynren is so much more than a show, so much more!

Tonight is the very first live public performance, and the build up and excitement feels very much to how the first show of the very first season felt like.

For me, I’m experiencing it in a completely different team, but the same feelings and anticipation feels exactly the same.

Kynren is the name of a project.

Kynren is the name of a world class show.

But Kynren means a whole lot more to every individual who has given their time to it.

Kynren is the catalyst to a changing and developing town that is Bishop Auckland.

With all progress it really does take time, but through this show and other developments it truly is showing the way; that Bishop Auckland has a truly exciting future.

But the Kynren I first joined to the Kynren that is now is different.

Different in a good way.

It’s maturing!

 

Way back in 2016, which seems a lifetime ago now, the Kynren site was a construction site, a dream and a vision that many backed, but not quite sure of what it was, or what it was about to turn into.

I mentioned many times throughout this blog, Kynren has been a game changer.

It truly has!

Not just for me, but for many.

Yes the whole point leads you up to days like today, the first live show of a brand new season.

But what you see isn’t all that Kynren is about.

The show is amazing, seeing is believing, and until you see it with your own eyes, you won’t really understand it, but when you do, you’ll never forget it, and it will leave you with a sense of pride and passion to keep returning, time and time again.

But Kynren as I said is more than what you see, it’s the starting point of regeneration of a town that badly needs it.

And not just Bishop Auckland, it’s supporting communities and County Durham as a whole.

But that isn’t all.

If you strip Kynren back to what it means for every single person that is and has been involved, it tells so many different stories on why?

We all have a story to tell!

But one story which many if not all volunteers can’t help but express is pride, today is no different, everyone is proud of not only what Kynren means, what Kynren is instilled within our hearts, but we are each here, ready and now to deliver the very first of an amazing show of an amazing summer.

I want to wish all Kynren volunteers, staff and everyone that has been associated with this project over the last three years, gratitude and respect, we have done this.

Whether you believed in the project from the very start, or you are here now, your here and that’s all that matters.

We are Archers, this is our symbol, this is our name, and we are proud to deliver Kynren to our welcoming audience.

I hope and wish you all have a fantastic night and an incredible summer!

I also want to acknowledge as I always do at this point each year to the Archers who are no longer with us, you believed in this project, at times when some didn’t, you grew with Kynren, just as Kynren grew with you.

You are a part of Kynren’s history and new heritage, and you all, will never be forgotten, ever!

Thank you for all that you did.

We are a family at Kynren, we are close, we cherish the moments, we encourage and support, we love and we laugh.

But Kynren is completely; the story of us.

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For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

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So this is what it’s like.

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Last night was Kynren’s Press Night and it came and went within a blink of an eye, exactly like fellow teammates had told me it would.

I’ve always said, and have always wondered what it would be like to experience this wonderful project from a completely different perspective and another set of eyes, and that was it, and I want more.

As yesterday came I felt calmer, more reassured being around many cast who have lived and breathed these shows before.

There were still understandable nerves, but nerves are always good, breathe deeply, hit your mark, and go and deliver your small part of what helps to make Kynren; Kynren.

From outside in, from viewing the show performers from the Experience team within the first year I’ve always had the upmost respect for each member of the cast, as I do with every volunteer within all of the roles of the Kynren project.

But to see each perform on the evening, and to witness everything that they do is something that you can’t really appreciate until you are there.

It’s hard work but we all love it.

For me in team 7, I had on the evening 6 different costume changes, and although difficult at times, I managed to hit my stage entrances on time, so I am more than happy with that.

The Kynren show as we the cast and crew know is outstanding, year on year it continues to go up levels, the newer scenes, I too am yet to physically see but I know about them, and I know that they are outstanding, performed by outstanding people.

Within this blog I don’t often talk about the show, I talk about the emotional process of volunteering, and today will be no different.

Last night was press night and I’ll leave the reviews of the show to the professionals.

What I will say though is, it is a complete honour to stand beside many people who have come together for a common cause, to help develop an idea, a project, into a world class show.

Throughout the first two years, Kynren has welcomed thousands of visitors from far and wide.

Within the town of Bishop Auckland and County Durham to many from across the UK and abroad.

Throughout the summer I expect we’ll welcome thousands more, who will arrive with excitement and leave in awe, with an underlying sense of pride.

We all help and support each other through it, lots of encouragement and positivity.

And where would we all be without the crew that the visitors may not see.

From the costume teams helping us change in between scenes, to the go team keeping us safe when there is so much going on and off stage behind the scenes.

I already know that the Experience team will give you all the biggest and most friendliest of welcomes, as I once had the pleasure of wearing those red jackets.

And from there the crew that you don’t see, the tech team, the props team the pyro team, the divers, operations and even the first aid team, each individual deserves that finale bow as much as anyone else does.

We are all one on this project, we each play our parts, and together we create something not only unique, but simply something exceptional.

Kynren’s first show of seventeen live performances this summer takes place on Saturday 30th June.

For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

Tonight’s The Night!

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I could have written this article many times over during this week, but I purposely held off until today to write it.

Tonight sees Kynren host the press, alongside many local residents and Archers; family and friends.

The weather forecast today isn’t exactly ideal for those that will be sitting in the tribune to watch the show this evening, but believe me Kynren sparkles even more than it possibly could, if it rains.

No matter the weather, you will witness an incredible show, that will leave you in complete awe, appreciation and proudness.

For me, this week, I’ve been a ‘ball of nervous excitement’, reading my blogs back against season 1, that’s exactly how I was going into this day three years ago.

I wanted to do well, I wanted to turn all my knowledge from training into practice, and today is absolutely no different.

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I’ve taken the time this week to speak to many different volunteers who have taken part in the cast before.

I have asked how it felt, or if  they were nervous.

I fondly remember each of those shows during the first season, I wasn’t there to witness what each of them did, or what they saw, but I got to experience their emotions, their success, and their joy.

Tonight it’s my turn to hopefully witness what they saw, and feel every single emotion that they’ve felt.

Half of me is calm, more calm today now the day is here, but equally there is a part of me that is scared, and I’m not afraid to admit that.

Being part of the show team is exciting, it’s rewarding, and you learn so much about your own capabilities, but equally in turn, I’ve discovered it’s very much, so out of my own comfort zone.

I’m glad I’ve taken the opportunity to experience it all though, because it has shown me that if you are willing to try, and work hard, anything can be achieved with self dedication and great support and encouragement around you.

Waking up today doesn’t feel as nerve wrecking as I thought it was going to be, although this week I’ve been on edge.

I always say to others that ‘nerves are good, it shows you that you care’, I care, I don’t want to let anyone down, but equally I know I’ve been trained by the best, supported by a loyal community of Archers, and all we need to do now is go out there and deliver.

And deliver, we will.

 

 

Tonight obviously sees the mainstream press in attendance, television, radio and newspapers, alongside many bloggers and photographers.

It’s a big night and an exciting one too.

Kynren is a live outdoor show, with 1,000 strong cast and crew, that will take visitors on a breath-taking time travel adventure through 2,000 years of history, myth and legend.

But Kynren is more than just what you will see on that stage tonight.

Kynren is the heartbeat of a developing community, the warmth and friendliness that each volunteer brings, it lights up the hearts of every visitor to the site.

Each smile, lights the next one, so much so it becomes infectious.

I’ve said it many times throughout this blog that Kynren has been a game changer for many people in this community, especially for me.

I’ve learnt so much about myself, I’ve learnt so much about others too.

I’ve learnt that hidden talents can lie hidden amongst us, but until we try, and challenge ourselves we may never know what we each are capable of.

I know teamwork makes the dream work, by working alongside likeminded people dreams are no longer dreams they can and do become a reality.

3 years ago, maybe a little bit longer, no one could have really envisioned what we have all collectively created.

Tonight’s the night and the Archers are going to put on a show that you will never want to forget.

We’ll see you on the other side.

Kynren’s first show of seventeen live performances this summer takes place on Saturday 30th June.

For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

Kynren 2018 – Are You Ready?

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The last time I wrote, my post was regarding the anticipation of heading into the stage rehearsals.

That was two months ago now, and I haven’t written since.

Having always said I wanted to experience this Kynren project from a fresh pair of eyes each year, and to see this show from a completely different perspective each time.

Since the very first stage rehearsal, to full dress rehearsal, and then last night to full show conditions including pyrotechnics, it’s only really now that I feel as though I can write this update, as quite frankly where do you really start?

Since the very start of our rehearsals, which feel like a long time ago, because they were.

The many months that each cast and crew member has put in, to listen, to learn, to practice, and practice and practice some more.

Repetition after repetition to know your choreography, to understand the music for your cues on entering and exiting the stage, to appreciate how your roles link into the overall picture of what each visitor will see on a summer’s evening is now something for me to behold.

As each rehearsal has come and gone, my ability to pick up each choreographic scene has taken time, for me it’s about a process, I’m self confessed not a quick learner, especially when I experience new things that are a complete unknown to me.

But one thing I have always focused on was the belief.

That belief is not only your training, which has been exceptional since day one.

But it’s been your teammates, the cast members, the people that stand beside you in each scene.

There’s people that you know, and there’s still hundreds of faces who you are seeing for only the very first time.

Some are new.

Some are seasoned professionals and have been here since day one, going back unbelievable three years ago now.

For me, I take inspiration from them all, every single person that has performed on that stage, who has been there, in exactly the same position I’m in, and now about to experience for myself.

The confidence I now take into each performance, I take with vigor knowing that I’m in the best company possible to perform on the greatest stage.

Kynren?

What can anyone possibly say who has seen it?

Who has experienced from each different set of eyes?

It’s special.

It’s unique.

It’s mindblowing.

Awe inspiring.

And just leaves you lost for words, with an overwhelming proudness.

For all the visitors who have booked their tickets and counting down the days to visit our show, whether it’s your very first time or you return each year, your in for a feast of entertainment that your eyes won’t know where to look.

Kynren is exceptional.

There is a real buzz flowing through the volunteers, we are ready, and ready to welcome you with wide smiles from the experience team and deliver a live performance that will live long in your memories until the end of time.

We can’t wait to meet you!

Kynren’s first show of seventeen live performances this summer takes place on Saturday 30th June.

For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

Bring on the Stage Rehearsals

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The above photo was taken at the entrance to the Kynren site last week, the last time I was there.

Last week rehearsals brought a close to a long and gruelling schedule of barn rehearsals, which consisted of around 18 different choreographed scenes for my new team 7.

What comes next is a well deserved break for most teams, although for the hard-working Cavalry team there is rarely a break, as they work alongside our amazing horses and animals.

For me this year has been different, but most welcome.

Having made this stage last year within the cast, my transition although at times painful to watch has been progressively better, at least for me.

Having a year’s experience of going through the rehearsals stage certainly gave me confidence heading into this year.

I’ve spoken at length regarding everyone involved in the Kynren project before, on how committed, how helpful and supportive they are.

Team 7 is my newest team, an all male group of varying ages, some experienced hands that have been involved in Kynren since the start, some who have never even witnessed the show as they have been on stage for every performance.

Mixed with the new recruits who bring their own passions, talents and personalities to the mix, I already know it’s going to be a memorable summer full of laughter and long lasting memories.

Last week, Team 7 had our last 4 rehearsals of the month, and with it I had to miss a couple of sessions through other commitments.

For me community plays a big part in everything I look to do, after all it was one of the main reasons why I first joined the Kynren project.

But due to a change in the schedule I had to miss Tuesday’s sessions as I present on local radio, Bishop FM as well.

Rehearsals have been excellent, and a joy to attend, each one provides you with the skills to perform each sequence of each scene within the full production of the show.

At Kynren we are extremely lucky to have been taught by the best.

From Creative Director Steve Boyd who has worked on numerous Olympic Games productions, to Mark Hindman-Smith our outstanding combat choreographer, and of course the Pink Ladies who whip us all into shape with mass movement, timings and performance.

On this whole project we are all one, we each work hard, support and respect each other and pull together to be show ready to perform.

At times I personally think we are all ‘Arthur’ living Kynren through one set of eyes as it all gets picture puzzled together, right before our very eyes.

So what’s next?

Kynren Stage Rehearsals start in a few weeks time.

For me, again, it’s one of the best and my favourite parts of Kynren, for anyone that knows me, they’ll know I speak fondly about the stage rehearsals.

It’s a time where all the teams come together and piece by piece Kynren becomes alive.

This time I get to experience looking in front of the tribune.

For more information or to book tickets please visit Kynren’s website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

 

Kynren 2018 Rehearsals

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We are halfway through March, which means we are halfway through our rehearsals, and doesn’t each session come thick and fast.

Over the past few weeks we have rehearsed and learnt a whole host of scenes from Stamford Bridge, Field of the Cloth of Gold, Norman Conquest, Knights of the Roundtable, Georgian Harvest, Christmas Truce and finally once again yesterday’s rehearsal was the popular Miners Gala.

But for my role within the cast this is only a small part of what Kynren is all about, as many of our rehearsals cross over with cast members throughout the various teams within different scenes.

Whilst all remaining teams of both cast and crew throughout Kynren make their own preparations, and deliver their elements of what will become another fantastic summer of live shows to wow each visitor.

So how have the rehearsals been?

For me and I’d imagine for most, fun would be a great descriptive word.

Challenging would be another one too, especially where I am concerned.

It’s become very apparent for me during not only this season’s rehearsals but also last year’s too, that surprisingly I really lack co-ordination skills.

However, I’m not overly concerned this year, having spent last year taking part in cast rehearsals and having the first-hand experience of the people you stand beside who have each delivered show stopping shows, you can walk out of each rehearsal with added confidence and vigour.

Knowing that despite your own challenge you face to learn and remember each scene of choreography, your teammates beside you were not only in the position you currently are but they have gone on to become seasoned professionals and experienced hands in Kynren.

Despite not taking part last summer in the actual shows, I feel I have benefitted greatly from taking part in the rehearsals last year, I can step into each rehearsal without a fear of dread at what we might have to do, or what we might have to learn, and quite frankly that dread of could I actually do it.

Rehearsals at Kynren currently take place most days, there’s always a team from either the cast or crew on site to learn, experience and perfect aspects of their role on the project.

For me, and my teammates of Team 7 this year, we return this afternoon for our next challenge to see what our amazing choreography team have come up for us this year when we learn ‘The Mines’ scene.

Each Archer and every visitor will have their own favourite scenes throughout the show, I remember even last year saying as I watched it, “I love this scene”, “This one’s my favourite”, only for it to be followed by something just as mesmerising and heartfelt.

However, in regards to ‘The Mines’ scene, it’s a scene that does stand out, it means something, it tells it’s story about our history, our heritage and our communities, it’s a scene I want to get right, and I scene I want to deliver on.

So what’s next?

After today a short break before returning back on Friday to take part in 9 further scene rehearsals over 5 days, setting us up nicely to experience something brand new for myself and all new Archers, that opportunity to take all of our newly developed skills and take them into stage rehearsals in late April.

The stage rehearsals for me are my most favourite time of Kynren; pre-shows of course, that opportunity where every team comes together and shows what they have learnt, which fits piece by piece and brings Kynren alive.

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Kynren returns this summer for 17 shows. 

Opening night is Saturday 30th June, for more information or to buy your tickets please visit the Kynren website:

http://kynren.com/tickets 

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to be part of the cast and crew on the project, please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/

 

 

Inclement Weather and Rehearsals

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A picture always tells a thousand tales, but always leaves a lasting memory.

The Kynren site for all who have visited have been left in awe at the magnitude of the project, that with it’s rolling landscape in all directions complimenting Kynren perfectly.

Added to the views, the wintry weather of heavy snow and each photograph taken looks like it could appear on your next Christmas card.

What a week it has been!

From my last article I mentioned that March was a rehearsals month, with 18sessions for me all pencilled in to learn various choreography, sequences and style to become show ready for the first show on Saturday 30th June.

The inclimate weather playing a big part in the rehearsal timetable.

Unfortunately Friday’s combat sessions were postponed, but Saturday’s dance choreography training sessions thankfully made the weather.

Hundreds of Archers came well prepared just as I did, plenty of layers and warm clothes were essential, whilst lots of wellington boots standing to the side waiting for their owners to change back into once their sessions were over.

Saturday was a choreography run through of the popular ‘Miners Gala’ a scene of dance and celebration.

For anyone like myself who is no more than a dancing freestyler who simply throws shapes to music, badly, this was certain to be a challenge, possibly as much for your partner than it was to yourself.

What I like about the rehearsals last year and this year is there is so much talent and experience in the room.

I’ve mentioned it before in the combat sessions, there is so much patience and encouragement from all of the seasoned Archers, with reminders and tips on improvements, each I take on board with gratitude and thanks.

The Miners Gala wasn’t a scene I would have been involved with last year had I continued my journey, so even though I watched from the sidelines, to actually do it was very new to me.

Without question there is so much to learn, so much to remember, but learn it you will, remember it for certain, and deliver it absolutely.

It’s quite unbelievable how it all comes together, scene by scene, each a picture piece of a jigsaw that comes alive before your very eyes.

It’s incredible to believe that only 2 1/2 years ago, rooms of strangers gathered together to deliver an outstanding show of history and performance, and during that time creating lots of long standing bonds of friendships, that each of us are truly thankful of.

My second session of the day was the scene for the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’.

Show Team

An intricate scene of swordsmanship performed by English and French soldiers.

When I look around the room, rehearsal after rehearsal, I can’t state highly enough of how proud I am of each and every volunteer, in all roles.

The time they put in, their dedication, their passion.

The understanding and empathy.

It’s truly unique project to be apart of.

The camaraderie is nothing like I’ve ever experienced or been a part of before.

It’s true reflection of everything that Kynren represents.

Family!

Interested to learn more or sign up and play your part in Kynren 2018, there’s still time.

The next open day is on Saturday 10th March, full details can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/356441888092887/?ti=icl

For more information please visit the Kynren website:

http://kynren.com/tickets

To read more about Kynren and what it is like to volunteer on the project please visit my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/