Tag Archives: BishopAuckland

Kynren 2018 Rehearsals


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.


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:


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:





Inclement Weather and Rehearsals


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.


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:


For more information please visit the Kynren website:


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


Kynren 2018


And so it starts all over again, for many volunteers participating in Kynren 2018 – An Epic Tale of England, training has already started.

For me, it’s just about to begin.

This week I head to my first session of this new season, attending a refresher combat induction in preparation for a busy, but enjoyable training schedule.

For my new team 7 teammates and the rest of the male combat teams, rehearsals and choreography come thick and fast over the month of March.

We’ll be taking part in none other than 18 different sessions within the course of the month.

And quite honestly I’m looking forward to it.

Although, Kynren 2018 leaves me with the exact same questions that led me into Kynren 2017.

Just quite how do each of those volunteers do it?

Even now, watching the newly released promotional videos, I sit and watch and think how am I going to do what each of those cast members do when they perform on that stage.

I really don’t know how.

For me, I would class myself to be a personable person, and I felt very at ease within the Experience Team during season 1, but this is a challenge for me, a challenge I think I need, and one that I could really relish in.

Stepping back 12 months ago I was heading a little bit into the unknown, I may have witnessed the jaw dropping performances of Season 1, and knowing that I too would be learning what each of the Archers had learnt before me.

I recall thinking and saying outloud, how are we going to deliver all of these changes, but you just do.

There is a confidence that simply grows inside of you, driven on by those that stand side by side amongst you.

And Season 3, 4, 5 and so on will be exactly the same.

Many volunteers started this project with a want to take part, become involved, and to give back.

And now as we head closer to the start of Kynren 2018, just 15 weeks away, the experience flows through each of them to help and aid the newer volunteers such as myself transition quickly to the level that is now expected.

There’s an overwhelming passion for the project and of each role that is undertaken, each Archer carries that proudness, that togetherness, and a want of getting the job done to the best of their abilities.

It is a project and show like no other, it captures your heart and keeps you wanting more.

Tickets are now on sale with discounted prices available until 28th February.

For more information please visit the Kynren website:


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


Season 3 – It’s Good To Be Back


Last week saw my return to the Kynren project and indeed the Kynren site, for my first session of Season 3: Camp Kynren.

It will come as no surprise to many that I’m delighted to be returning back to the project.

It feels like home.

I don’t know how quite to describe the feeling you feel each and every time you enter the Kynren site.

It feels special, because it is special.


Walking across the Eleven Arches of the viaduct seperating Bishop Auckland’s town centre, is the outstanding sight of Kynren, in all it’s majestic awe.

Flashbacks hit, wave after wave, memory after memory.

From the Construction of the site back at the very start, the rain, the floods, the thick wet mud, that seemed to be everywhere because it was.

Watching the transformation take place day by day, week by week from across the river, or high above the site we all watched from afar.

And boy it developed, and has since delivered, it seems ridiculous and unimaginable that we are heading into Season 3 already.

The time has flown by, but time does when you’re having the time of your lives.

Reflecting back it’s been a ride, a ride of great proportions, a ride of rich experiences.

Self development and a confidence builder.

It’s seen many friendships start, blossom, and grow into treasures.

Outside looking in, each one of us can look at the Kynren project and see how it’s grown and developed, but for me, a volunteer, it really does show how much I’ve developed too.

I simply can’t think back in any real detail on how it used to be, or maybe I can, but choose to keep looking forward.

I’ve changed as a person, I’m more socially aware now, I was always active and engaging, but I feel I have developed more of an understanding for many situations, scenarios and people now.

I understand volunteering more, and I appreciate everything that is and can be.

Walking across the car park last week and watching all the cars come in, wave after wave, it brought a flashback.

Back to the days of the first general rehearsals, the wide eyed smiles, the laughter, the friendliness of each volunteer, keen to meet up once again and play their part in delivering an outstanding summer of shows.

Camp Kynren I’ve done before, I participated in something similar last year.

It’s more of an induction and information session than anything else.

A time to collect your passes, to provide any outstanding information, and to learn more about the overall objectives of the project in the year to come.

The best part of it is engaging and picking up where you last left off with many of the volunteers you may not have seen for awhile.

Or meeting brand new volunteers or existing volunteers for the very first time.

Kynren holds two elements.

The epic show that develops year on year and each and every volunteer can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in season 3.

And the volunteers circle, a group, but more like a family, of which we can all be proud of each other’s personal achievements.

Once you volunteer, you’ll feel part of something unique, something special, something that you belong too, and something to be proud of.

And there’s still time to become involved and play your part in a Summer that you will treasure forever and never forget.

This Wednesday 17th January, sees the final open call session in preparation for Season 3.

It’s your chance to come and have a look and see what it is all about for yourselves.

To speak to fellow volunteers.

To feel the same magic that I and many other volunteers feel when you arrive each time to the site.

If your interested, full details regarding Wednesday’s Open Call can be found in this link:


It will be great to see you and welcome you all to the project, there is a wide range of options of roles to become a part of too.


For me, as mentioned in my last blog article, I’ll be back into the cast, show team 7 this year.

Hoping to pick back up where I left off last year, and to create many more memories and take part in many more wonderful experiences, to not only live and breathe them but to share my emotions throughout each stage within this blog going forward.

It’s great to be back!!!

To find out more information on volunteering for Season 3 or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:


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


Kynren Season 2


As Kynren prepares itself for one last performance of Season 2, many of the Archers and volunteers will be sharing many memories that this season will have brought them.

For me, they bring many different flashbacks.

As you will have noticed I haven’t written many articles this season, no weekly episodes to watch out for, hopefully to become inspired by, and share in the emotions of the volunteers experience.


Overall at times this season it’s been a hard watch personally, I’ve seen the show, but I haven’t come to write about it as yet, because quite frankly I can’t.

I’ve made no secret on why I left the Kynren project this year, I left for health reasons.

And for those that read these blog articles or follow my progress, the health reasons were down to being diagnosed with depression in November.

It’s been a long and painful process back, I often say depression strips you of your identity, your self belief and self worth, and whilst I tried to continue on in a project I love, I realised I had to walk away for no other reason but myself.


Watching the show even though it’s still amazing and fantastic, and believe me it does go up levels in comparison to season 1.

So much so I have no doubt it will continue to go up levels in season 3 and 4 and so on.

How do I know this?

Because I completed all of the show team training before I made the painstaking decision to walk away.

I remember being in awe at each training session thinking how on earth are we going to do that?

How on earth am I going to do that?

But you just do.

Practice, practice, practice.

At Kynren you work alongside the very best.

Not only the very best combat trainers and the best choreographers.

But you work alongside only the very best teammates, teammates who once stood in your shoes, who  now have a wealth of experience from participating in the Kynren shows to help you along your journey, with guidance, tips, and lifting your confidence.


Choreography that was first shown now sticks in your head, remembered and ready to perform, whatever the trainers have in mind for season 3, I have no doubt every Archer will deliver and be raring to get started.

So to the show and project itself, looking outside in, the volunteers have excelled themselves once again, I only found it difficult as I would have been lining up alongside each of them this season.

Knowing in certain scenes exactly where I would be positioned, and exactly what I would have been doing.

But the show itself it has changed, anyone that has seen it this season against last season will know that.

Kynren has added scenes, such as Boudicca.


And the running layout of scenes has changed, even for a last season volunteer looking in certain directions thinking you know exactly what is about to happen, and being equally as surprised as the audience when something else does, leaving you high on anticipation and on the end of your seat.

The increase of volunteers on the stage makes every scene come even more to life than the first season, if that was possible at all.

If you have had the opportunity or the pleasure to attend this season, you certainly won’t have been heading home short changed.

So what will Season 3 bring?

Honestly I don’t know, but what I think it will bring is: More.

Each season it is delivering, aesthetically it is brilliant and will continue to be.

The pride and willingness of the volunteers make the project special, and that will long live in the memories of all.

And for me, I’m better, and recovered, i’m just waiting on confirmation to go back and do it all again, to pick up where I left off and carry on my journey of Kynren.

To continue to write about the project from the volunteers eyes, a side of the project that no one quite sees unless you join us.

A final note for now, as Kynren and Bishop Auckland head towards their final show of the season a flashback of mine from last year was this.

Heading into this moment last year I wanted to mark the season, to do something special, to share something that could be treasured and looked back on time and time again.

And then it dawned on me, I had already done it, each and every article that I had managed to write told another story, a story that you didn’t have to remember, as it was there for all to see in black and white.

Archers thank you to each of you past and present, with your commitment, loyalty and work ethic the project is looking in good shape heading into Season 3.

To the volunteers of Season 2, head into Saturday’s show just as you have done for the 16 before it.

Big smiles, big performances, take everything in, and most of all enjoy it, because these are the memories you will look back on for a lifetime.

To find out more information on volunteering for Season 3 or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:


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



Good Luck Archers


Tonight marks the highly anticipated return of Kynren, in the first live public performance in front of the press.

Both local and national press will be in attendance, and it would come as no surprise if some were international too.

With television, radio, newspapers and bloggers in attendance, alongside what is also classed as a friends, family and local residents night, the excitement is already building on what will be another fantastic spectacle.

All the training is done, all the rehearsals too, and for the newer volunteers tonight marks the very start of their journey of a truly wonderful Summer.

They’ll be nerves, but they are good, it shows you that you care.


I remember it all too well from this time last year, and without any question it will be something that I will miss this time around.

As documented through this blog over the last few entries, I reluctantly decided to take a break whilst I recover from my health reasons.

And to be honest it’s helped, as most people who know me, they have seen a development of change within me since becoming diagnosed with depression in November.

Although Kynren was a positive within my life, I needed to strip back everything to work on what would help me to get better.

I was even asked again this week if I was making a return as my progress has been so good.

But Season 2, will definitely pass me by, and for me personally, it’s still the correct decision, no matter how jealous I am of everyone who is participating in the project this season.

So what’s new in Season 2?

Lots, I did all of the training before I decided to take a break, and although I’m not going to reveal any details, all I will say is take note of everything going on, on the stage, and don’t blink otherwise you’ll definitely miss something.

“We went last year, why should we go back?”

Why should you go back? Because remember how much you loved it last year, remember how you’ve never seen anything like it before, live, in the North East of England, performed by volunteers, who do it for the love of the project, the love of the town, and the love of the people.

Remember the Experience team, the red jackets and the warm and inviting welcome.


Remember the beautiful  wild flowers as you walked down our zigzagging pathway towards the village.


Remember the exhilarating performance, the shivers on your neck, the lump in your throats.

Remember the look in your children’s eyes as they awed in the spectacle, and realised History and Performing Arts is cool.


Remember the fireworks, the crashes, the bangs that topped off your night, and this image that rounded off a truly magical performance that long lives in your memories.

Remember it all, let yourself be taken back, back to the night that you witnessed Kynren, the envy of your friends, the envy of your family.

And book your tickets again to witness the best live show the UK will see again this Summer.

To find out more information or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website:


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





Kynren Training Day


I’ve been meaning to post a new blog for a number of weeks now, the next one was and really still is the awards night in April, that I still haven’t got around to finishing off.

I suppose I haven’t finished it or possibly not wanted to finish and post it, as it will be the last line drawn for me within my current Kynren adventure.

But it will be getting posted soon.

Season 2 is now only weeks away, and this year for anyone who regularly reads this blog, I have decided to take a break away from the project.

With different circumstances I’d still be there, I have no doubt or hesitation.

As a recap for anyone who may only be reading this for the first time, I chose with a heavy heart to walk away from something I very much loved, for a personal reason.

That personal reason was I had been diagnosed with depression in November, and no matter how much I tried and how much I wanted to continue, I knew I had to put myself and my health first.

Kynren was my saviour, it was my escape, it was something I could really focus on, a brilliant hobby as such too.

What the project did was introduce me to several different people who have helped to shape me.

Showing me that there is a lot more to volunteering than just giving up your time.

It’s not about the money and not being paid, it’s about the experience, the adventure, the smiles, the laughter, and most of all the memories you create.

During Season 1, I more than played my part, it’s something I have been able to reflect back on over the last couple of months and be really proud of my accomplishments and my achievements.

Kynren also introduced me to someone that would encourage me to write, and now it’s not just something I thought I’d have a go at, it’s a passion, it’s something I’m good at, it’s something I excel in.

And thanks to Helen I’ll always be eternally grateful.

And who knows what Season 3 may hold for me, this year is just a break but never a goodbye.


So what’s Kynren like outside looking in?

Especially when you’ve witnessed inside looking out?

It’s different I must admit.

From a locals point of view there is still an overwhelming buzz throughout the volunteers, something that I was and still am a part of.

The bond that each Archer has for each other will never wain or never die.

There is a growing community, strengthening each passing day.

A great support network and strong camaraderie spreading throughout the towns and the county.

The volunteers have created that all on their own.

So today brings around another full day of training, I only know because hundreds of new friends volunteering at Kynren have and had told me.

And thesedays were some of my favourite days.

The chance to get back on site, surrounded by new friends and meeting new faces, working together to bring something new, something different, something that the town can be really proud of to Bishop Auckland.

Yes the days are long, the days can be tiresome, but the Kynren site holds a magical feel about it.

I’ve only experienced it before when I’ve been to Disneyland, but it’s something much more.

It’s more than that, because it’s in our town, it’s our project, it’s something we’ve helped to create and hundreds upon thousands will continue to create and share.

Bishop Auckland and Kynren is a place to come, in future years it will be a place to stay and explore too.

It’s something not only am I passionate about but very proud of too.

We’ve come a long way, and will continue to keep growing, developing and learning with it too.

Since I’ve now left the project lots of talk have been about what is going to happen with this blog?

As far as I’m aware it’s the only Kynren Blog that has been written and recorded for the world to read, and the world has been watching and reading too.

Since the UK Blog Awards, Kynren is a project on a different audiences lips, and it’s important to continue telling the story.

This story is about what Kynren is like from a volunteers perspective and that’s what I intend to do.

Sharing some of the volunteers stories of why and how they came to be involved and how the project has changed and helped them.

It also offers me a chance to write from a local residents point of view too, outside looking in.

Kynren Season 2 starts on Saturday 1st July running for 17 show dates, ending on Saturday 16th September.

For more information or to book your tickets please visit the Eleven Arches website: