Tag Archives: Rehearsals

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:


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:


Easter Break


First of all, Happy Easter holidays to you, another great time to wind down and spend some quality time with your families and your friends.

For Kynren and it’s volunteers it’s exactly that too.

After weeks of intensive training, the Kynren site has closed down for a much needed break for each volunteer, and even then we miss not being there.

Rehearsals start again from Saturday 22nd April when all the training, rehearsals and preparation is moved onto the stage.


For any new volunteers who have signed up to take part during Season 2, they will have a mixture of true excitement alongside waves of nervousness in anticipation.

I know we did last year.

Looking back on this time last year, with a half completed building site, as Construction teams were working around the clock,  to complete works to ensure Kynren opened on time.

As contractors pulled off site, the volunteers would arrive to take part in their on site, on stage training.

These on stage sessions are brilliant days, intense for some, especially the show and technical teams, but these are the days that every team come together to work on aspects of their training in preparation for the live shows.

This year, the majority of volunteers know each other, there will be no awkwardness at times, as after all Kynren lives and breathes as a family unit thesedays, instilled by the passion of its volunteers.

Thinking back on last year, on most occasions the weather was kind, it certainly was on that first on stage rehearsal weekend, it felt as though you weren’t in Bishop Auckland at times, it was strange, you could clearly see the landmarks, but with the music playing and the warm weather and this unbelievable warm feeling running through your bones, you just knew you were in a special environment, one which creates smiles of happiness aplenty.

Come next week, the volunteers will be fully recharged, refreshed and raring to go, for some ready to rekindle the magic of the project of last year.

And some in preparation to witness it all for their very first time.

My advice to you all is take a breath, don’t panic, and take everything in, because these moments are just the start of your exciting Summer, where I know for one you will have the time of your lives.

Interested to know more about Kynren, why not like their Facebook page where you can watch official promotional videos such as this: 




General Rehearsal – 10th/11th June

During this weekend’s rehearsals it wasn’t just any typical weekend for the volunteers, as we all each received our “Golden Tickets” the privilege passes that Eleven Arches were kindly offering to let a partner of a member of your family or friend to attend the last General Rehearsal on Saturday 25th June. Exciting stuff.

For the Experience team there was even more news as our Kynren uniforms were ready for collection, beige cargo pants, a white t-shirt and a very cool red softshell jacket, we all look the business.

On the Saturday is was memorable for me, it was the first time i’d been able to sit and watch the show, not the full show, more like 90% of it, no pyrotechnics or fireworks but to see the talented show team act their way through the script and it was amazing, imagine how good its going to be when its the live shows, often referred to as “Epic” and I think it will be too.

On this particular night, watching from the tribune, it rained, not just a shower, it didn’t stop it just kept raining, all night. And you know what it was actually better that it was, from standing on our duties marshalling various areas of the site, it isn’t any fun, standing in the pouring rain should never be fun, but somehow down on that site it is, there isn’t anything you can do about it, but its how you deal with it, how they people around you in your teams deal with it, it then becomes fun.

As for the show it keeps going, and as there is so much going on, on that 7.5 acre stage you even soon forget that it is raining only really realising when your eyes suddenly see the rain in the lights.

The show is certainly worth a watch, not just once, several times, every time, no matter which seat you sit in you’ll a fantastic show, a show that you’ll be sat transfixed by something and missing something else.

When Eleven Arches described it as an Epic tale of England, they weren’t wrong.

On Sunday after the weekend’s rehearsals there no time for a chill day for some of the Experience team as it was our last session of the Circus training, lots of games and entertainment was had in preparation for us to welcome and entertain the visitors.

A particular highlight for me, was when I volunteered to be a guinea pig as the talented two trainers juggled bowling pins whilst I stood very still in the middle of them. It certainly was some experience as I could see them whizz millimetres from my face.

To learn more about the project please visit Eleven Arches website and Facebook pages.



May Bank Holiday Weekend Rehearsals

Over the Bank Holiday weekend on the dates of Saturday 28th May through to Bank Holiday Monday being 30th May, once again hundreds of volunteers descended to the Kynren site to take part in more general rehearsals.

For me Saturday was the first time I’ve missed it as I was at the Riverside ground at Chester-Le-Street watching England play Sri Lanka on the second day of the test match that they went onto win.

I may well of been a visitor on this particular day, but once upon a time you used to just go and enjoy the day, and believe me I did, but when I arrived I made sure to notice, made sure to notice the meeters and greeters, the stewards, how they handled a big crowd, noting down tips and questions to ask in my head for when I returned to the Kynren site.

After all the Experience team are the first and last people all of these brilliant visitors will see.

On Sunday and Monday, I was asked to help in the volunteers car park, the role many of our team feared, after all it doesn’t sound very glamourous being a car park attendant over being a warrior or a roman, but actually its better.

Everyone on this project plays their part, we are all volunteers and we have learnt as we’ve gone, every role is vital in the great scheme of things and nothing works unless we are all pulling in the same direction, and on this project that is very much what happens.

Within the car park, yes you are the first people that welcome anyone who arrives, you are the people who give people a cheery wave or a big smile as you are delighted to see them, a role that may not sound much but everyone remembers you.

A role now that I have come to love.

To learn more about the project please visit Eleven Arches website and Facebook pages.