Tag Archives: CountyDurham

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/

 

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Season 3 – It’s Good To Be Back

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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.

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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:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1723378124361154/?ti=icl

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.

https://corryandrew.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/the-volunteers/

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:

http://www.elevenarches.org

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

https://www.facebook.com/Kynren-Blog/posts/

Good Luck Archers

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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:

http://www.elevenarches.org

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

https://www.facebook.com/KynrenBlog/posts/

 

 

 

Daring to Dream

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With the UK Blog Awards now just a mere 4 weeks away, time is being afforded to dream.

In all honesty I’ve been allowing myself to dream big, well before now.

How can you not, it’s a big deal right, the UK Blog Awards is the biggest awards night in it’s industry, it’s a recognised National Award, with over 2,400 entries this year.

Whittled down to 259 finalists, across two different entries of either individual or business, in 17 different categories.

My Kynren Blog is only 1 of 7 listed North East Finalists, and the only 1 from County Durham.

Regardless of winning, it’s already a huge achievement in itself.

But as much as you afford yourself the time to dare to dream, it’s not actually about the winning.

It’s not been the key ingredient that I’m at this point, of course, everyone wants to win, but it’s not why I entered.

Several weeks ago I returned to a question I often ask myself in regards to everything that I do.

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I took the time out to remind myself of why I started, and not just on how I came to become a finalist at this year’s awards either.

I started this blog a year ago, in March of last year, I started it because in all honesty it seemed a good idea at the time, I wanted to record my journey through the Kynren process to one day look back on.

I’m not going to lie either, I didn’t find writing, over time writing found me.

I remember starting the blog, writing a couple of entries and then life took over and I slipped, on the Friday before the first show, the debut show on Saturday 2nd July 2016, I sat down and wrote and uploaded around 10 or 12 blogs to update my blog against it’s current timeline, and since then I’ve not looked back.

I’ve had the pleasure of writing a guest article for The Official Tourism Website of Durham – ‘This is Durham’ in July of last year writing a bespoke piece of what it is like to volunteer at Kynren.

And each blog entry since then has just told my story and my journey, in my own words and has captured my audience’s attention.

I have many readers, mainly across the UK but it has been read across numerous countries worldwide too.

And with that comes back to the reason why I started it.

It’s never been about the likes or the views, it’s great that so many people can and do relate to it.

But it wasn’t my drive to start it, and it’s still not my drive to continue with it.

Kynren is an ‘Epic Tale of England’, the award winning, spectacular open-air night show, run by volunteers that takes you on a captivating journey through 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend.

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But like I said I started this blog as a record to look back upon, to remember so many highlights and captivating memories. 

I entered the blog awards with the sole purpose of raising more awareness for our unbelievable, community project that is Kynren.

Little did I know that it would get this far.

So for me, winning would be nice, but it certainly isn’t everything, having the ability to head down to London in 4 weeks time, and share in a fantastic event and ceremony with so many amazing and inspirational writers and bloggers, covering so many topics and gaining so much insight, is what I’m most looking forward too.

With the added bonus of becoming an ‘Kynren Ambassador’ for the evening and raising the awareness and exposure of not just Kynren but the town our project lives and performs in, that is Bishop Auckland.

Anything above that is just a huge bonus.

For more information or to book your tickets for one of Kynren’s 17 shows this Summer, please visit the Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org/

Or to learn more about the awards ceremony please visit the UK Blog Awards website: http://www.blogawardsuk.co.uk 

Communities

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Sometimes the hardest pieces of writing or blogging are the articles that matter the most to you.

To say I was delighted to find out on 2nd January that my blog was shortlisted for an award was an understatement, a complete surprise, a shock even.

When the UK Blogging Awards contacted me to write an article for their website of course I was delighted to be asked, who wouldn’t be? I feel as though it is a real honour for having the opportunity.

I wanted to base my article around the topic of my blog and hometown because essentially that is what my blog is about; ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England’, performed in my hometown of Bishop Auckland – one, or perhaps both, are a complete unknown for some.

After all that was the main reason for submitting my blog for nomination before the closing date of entry, I wanted the opportunity to highlight and hopefully gain further exposure of the Kynren project and showcase my town of Bishop Auckland too.

Bishop Auckland is currently a developing town, and it is going through a wave of transition with the arrival last summer of the debut season of Kynren, the first of many new developments being added to the regeneration.

Alongside Kynren, produced by Eleven Arches, its sister charity, Auckland Castle Trust, is also overseeing a major development of works in the town such as;

* Auckland Castle, which is undergoing a major renovation and restoration process. (Opening May 2018)

* The recent start of construction of a brand new Welcome Building, which incorporates a 15 metre high viewing tower that will give unsurpassed views across Auckland Park, Bishop Auckland town and the rural landscape beyond. (Opening early 2018)

These are just a couple of the programmed developments taking place, for more information on all of the planned developments please visit the Auckland Castle Trust website: http://www.aucklandcastle.org

‘For those that don’t know, what is ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England?’

It’s a 90-minute show made up of all volunteers, which takes each 8,000-strong audience on a visually stunning journey through 2,000 years of British history, myth and legend.

Crammed with special effects that bring the show’s scenes to life with thrilling visual impact, audiences will be transported from Roman times through to the Second World War, encountering Viking and Norman invasions, mediaeval feasts to the splendour of the Tudors, the Industrial Revolution and the Roaring Twenties along the way.

Launched by Eleven Arches in 2016, ‘Kynren – An Epic Tale of England’ is the UK’s only live action show.

The first season saw more than 100,000 people visit Bishop Auckland in County Durham to experience 2,000 years of British history, as seen through the eyes of the North East.

Season 2 starts from Saturday 1st July 2017 through the summer consisting of 17 performance dates. For more information please visit the Eleven Arches website: http://www.elevenarches.org

Eleven Arches is the vision of philanthropist and investment manager Jonathan Ruffer. Eleven Arches is one of two charities he has established in Bishop Auckland, the other is the Auckland Castle Trust.
Together, the aim of the charities is to establish Bishop Auckland as an international tourist destination, attracting visitors and investment, which will contribute to the fortune of the area and empower the community.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the heading of this article ‘Communities.’

The Kynren project has created an opportunity for the town of Bishop Auckland and the volunteers have created a community; vibrant, supportive, caring and passionate, that will encourage future generations to come and become a part of the project and with it, help to create a new history for Bishop Auckland.

The blogging community in my short experience is no different; the UK Blogging Awards is the pinnacle event in the calendar, and one which attracts more and more submissions of entry year on year since it’s forming back in 2014, with over 2,400 blogs nominated this year.

This community offers help, support and guidance just like all communities do, keen to see others do well and better themselves and help this industry grow, and develop in which we are all now bonded too, with a common denominator that we are all here for the same reasons as we all enjoy what we do.

With Friday 21st April a mere 7 weeks away, a final note resides with each finalist, wishing you all the very best of luck during the awards ceremony in what should be a fantastic spectacle celebrating the very best of UK wide writers and bloggers.

 

What does the project mean to me?

In previous blog posts I’ve mentioned reasons on why I didn’t initially volunteer right through to the reasons why I did.

I’ve spoken about the opportunities it is creating for Bishop Auckland and the County Durham region, but what does the project mean to me?


For me personally it’s something that I’ve been searching for, for 2/3 years, something to fill my time in away from work and keep me occupied.

Like a hobby.

Having considered joining sports and social clubs or taking up a new interest, becoming a volunteer on this project now ticks all of the boxes.

As a volunteer in whichever the many teams and roles that are on offer that bring ‘Kynren’ together, a successful show, there is so much more on offer as a volunteer.

As a volunteer, you’re giving up some of your valuable free time to be part of something special to be part of our rich heritage and be part of our new history.

The sense of community spirit is richly flowing throughout each team, and spreads amongst us as after all we are the ‘Archers’

The project is bringing people together, of all ages, social clubs are forming and coffee mornings and nights out are being arranged.

New friendships are forming.

The ability to talk openly to a new friend that you’ve only just met about what this project means to you, and what you are looking forward too the most.

There’s passion, loads of it in every single volunteer, everyone wants to do well, and work together to create something wonderful that will continue to grow and thrive for generations to come.

So for me, what does this project mean?

It means, the ability to try and learn something new, train and learn new life skills.

It means, getting out there and meeting new and interesting people who you might have previously walked past in the street without even realising you have so much in common with.

It means, giving back to the community and the place you live in.

It means, making the difference to people’s lives and most importantly your own.

Eleven Arches is an exciting project and I’m proud to be a part of it.

For more information on this project or if you to would like to volunteer please visit their website: http://www.elevenarches.org