Tag Archives: KynrenBlog

Season 3 – Kynren Is Back!


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.


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



Kynren 2018 – Are You Ready?


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.


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:


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:


Bring on the Stage Rehearsals


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:


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:


I’m a writer, not a fighter


“I’m a writer, not a fighter”, well actually this year I’m both.

Earlier this week signalled the last of the men’s combat inductions, in preparation for a wide array of rehearsals and choreography to learn throughout March.

With the sole objective to become show ready in anticipation of Kynren 2018.

For me, after a slight absence it was good to be back.

Returning once again I had a slight advantage over the newly signed up cast members, as I had been in their position just last year.

Within minutes realising once again how difficult and challenging it will all be for someone like me who clearly lacks in co-ordination skills.

But what has been evident from day one, is the professionalism of the trainers, who are no longer just these mass choreography experts but friends, just like everyone is within the project.

There is a real sense of pride and respect for each other, and that willingness to learn, grow and develop to become better, to deliver a continued level of expectation and performance.

Heading back into training this year on a reflection of my transition of last year, it was different.

It felt right.

I had a difficult 2017 personally, which I have and continue to be very open about, and had I had the strength at that time I would have never had temporarily left Kynren.

I know last year I would have been writing about all the emotions I felt, along with those the cast and supporting crew would have experienced during the shows of last year.

I would have experienced the butterflies from the experience of the build up of the first show right until the fireworks lit up the sky and the hopefulness of a stand ovation from a packed out audience.

Hoping to hold my nerve and delivering on every single aspect that I will have been professionally trained to perform.

To see Kynren is one thing, to live it and to feel it, to really feel Kynren, that you know you’ve played your part in whichever way you have, that is special.

It doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter where you stand, it doesn’t matter what you see, it’s all about how you feel.

And that feeling you must have whether you perform on that stage, or when you wear the visible red jackets of the Experience teams welcoming thousands of visitors each show night, or each and all of the other team roles I have yet to experience in any form for myself yet.

There is proudness, that overall sense of achievement, the camaraderie, support and friendships, that all go a long way in making Kynren an exceptional, unique and visually stunning show to be shared amongst all generations.

Kynren 2018 is only just the start to our latest adventures, but one you won’t want to miss out on.

Here’s to another incredible Summer.


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:


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:


Kynren – The Big Reveal


Last night saw all the Archers assemble for an evening that is classed as the Kynren – Big Reveal.

Details of which I cannot share, nor would I want too, that all adds to the mystery and the magic of what Kynren epitomises.

What I can say though is 2018 already looks exciting, and the buzz amongst the cast and crew throughout the evening left you feeling with not just with a sense of achievement, but also a willingness to get started all over again.

Despite being involved more or less from the start, this was the first ‘Big Reveal’ event that I have attended during my own personal Kynren journey.

Looking back they always seemed to be on or around the last couple of weeks of January or early February clashing with other commitments, like birthdays in which I was unable to attend.

Last night’s event, although it was to reveal what is in store for each of us heading into Season 3, it was also a celebration, looking back on what we have all collectively achieved so far.

Looking back on memories that we each share within the Kynren project and show, but also the individual memories we have created throughout our teams and friendships.

As you can imagine, when a 1000+ volunteers come together under one roof, there is an overwhelming buzz running through not only the building, but also through the very core of your own being.

It’s special.

It’s exciting.

And it’s real.

We each hold an overwhelming sense of pride and respect for each other and ourselves.


Collectively, we have done this.

We are doing this.

And we’ll continue to keep pushing our boundaries to keep achieving more and more.

It was an evening to listen, to take everything in, a time to reflect and also a time for laughter too.

I often get asked what I write about, and at times people are confused when I reply it’s a Kynren Blog, but I don’t write about the show.

I choose to write about the emotions and the feelings of what it like to be there as opposed to what you can see.

Kynren has and will continue to be a game changer for many.

For me, heading back into the project after taking a short break within season 2, you realise instantly how much you’ve missed it.

How much you miss not attending the Kynren site.

The views, the feelings, the emotions; that smile that won’t leave your face.

The general rehearsal days where everyone comes together to share what they have learnt.

Memories and flashbacks hit you at every turn.

And most of all the people, from varying backgrounds and age ranges.

We are a community of people.

And we are a specially bonded family, that we will treasure that sense of belongingness for our lifetimes.

So what’s next?

For many, this month sees the start of the cast rehearsals, my next session is on 21st February, and from then on they come thick and fast.

And although such a big commitment of time, I personally can’t wait to get going again.

I want to learn more, and continue to keep learning.

Appreciate the people and surroundings and the experience all around me.

To meet even more people and create new friendships.

To see and experience many different things and capture details from a different set of eyes, and spine tingling moments, that I can share through writing and creativity.

And I want to challenge myself and see how I develop and grow within the project, when I look back on yet another successful season with fondness of memories.

Interested to find out more?

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: