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Kynren 2018 with Kids - Video & Spoiler-free Review

*We were provided with complimentary tickets to attend a press preview

You'll remember that we attended Kynren last year and absolutely loved it (click here to read our review and top tips for visiting with kids). In fact we loved it so much that we bought tickets for this year's show as soon as they went on sale. We're also taking Steve's parents along as a special birthday present. We bought our tickets for Septemeber when the shows finish a little earlier (it is a late night for kids) so when the opportunity to attend a press preview came along, I decided to decline as I didn't want to ruin our experience in September. Luckily for us, the Hoopers attended on our behalf. Here are their thoughts on 2018's show......


Kynren 2018 with Kids - Video & Review



What is Kynren? 

On Saturday night we headed down to Bishop Auckland in County Durham to see Kynren.  Now in its third year, Kynren is a live-action retelling of 2000 years of history of England… all in 90 minutes which is no mean feat.  The night we attended was for the press and family of the volunteers so was quieter than usual.  Capacity for each show is 8,000 so on a big scale with a purpose-built outdoor stadium (Tribune) built to provide seating.

Shows for the public start on Saturday 30th June, with most Saturday nights (with a few Friday’s) until September.  It is worth noting that our show started at 9.30pm but this gets earlier as the nights draw in, which the last show taking place at 7.30pm, which is more suited to younger visitors. 




Where is Kynren?

Kynren is staged in a huge arena just on the outskirts of the market town of Bishop Auckland in the shadows of Auckland Castle.  The production is the vision of philanthropist millionaire Jonathan Ruffer who wanted to give something back to the town.  The 1,000 volunteers who take part in the show are all local people and the show has boosted visitor numbers to the town and the surrounding areas.  

Popping the Colliery Fields car park into the sat nav we were at the site in around 50 minutes from Newcastle.  From this car park you can take a 10-minute walk to the Kynren site, or jump on a double-decker bus (additional booking required).  The kids thought a double-decker was a great novelty so we hopped on the shuttle bus. 

The grounds of Kynren are beautiful with wildflower meadows, little bridges, cute fencing and gorgeous planting.  It really did look like something from Disneyland, which added to the excitement.  From the bus stop we walked through security (no backpacks allowed) to the Tribune, the name for the stadium. All of the volunteer Meet & Greeters were so friendly taking time to chat with the girls.  There was a small souvenir kiosk selling flags for 50p, Ponchos for £4 in case of rain and other souvenirs like pens and hats.  When the public nights are up and running there will also be food vendors outside of the Tribune, but tonight there wasn’t any so can’t comment on what type of food will be served or the prices. 




Kynren The Show

At 9.30pm the show started introducing the main character a boy called Arthur who goes on a quest through time to discover the history of his town Bishop Auckland and England.  I won’t spoil the show for anyone going but the show involved Viking invasions, Norman conquests, both the World Wars and a good northern knees up at the Durham Miners Gala. New for 2018 is the addition of a Suffragette scene celebrating 100 years since women won the vote.  

Although a history of England the narrative was kept local to keep the history relative and to stir up the Northern pride.  To keep the pace and interest there were explosions, light effects, Riders on horseback which was all set to a stirring soundtrack.  The scale of the production was so impressive, with always somewhere to look or something to happen in front of your eyes.




The Tribune

We were lucky enough to be in Diamond section which is the central core of seating which the luxury of padded seats.  As you move from the centre to the gold, silver and bronze sections the seats were plastic.  I honestly don’t think there is a bad view in the house, but a bit of extra padding is always welcome. Take a cushion if you chose a non-diamond area. 
It was great to chat with some ladies behind us who had instructions on where to look for their grandchildren who were volunteers.   One was on the train with ‘George Stephenson’ which must have been a fantastic memory for a child.  The volunteer performers, or as they are known ‘Archers’ were fantastic coming in on que not missing a beat.  It must have taken a lot of rehearsal and practice! They say never work with children or animals but the producers of Kynren needn’t have worried as both groups played their part perfectly! 





Finale

The finale of the show was particularly moving with all of the volunteers heading onto the field to a rousing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’.  This was the time to get waving those Union Jacks.  At this point, you really got the sense of just how many people were involved in this production. As the show finished bang on 11pm we were lead back to the bus stop to head back to the car.  Yes, it was a late night for the girls, but something they will remember for a long time.




Don't forget the check out the Hoopers' vlog from the event below: 



As a side note, If you love Kynren, check out Puy du Fou in France. Puy du Foy is where Kynren gained it's inspiration and has won countless awards including the best theme park in the world! We're visiting in July this year and honestly can't wait - it looks spectacular. Find out more about Puy du Fou here



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Kynren 2018 with Kids - Video & Review




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15 comments

  1. We really do need to get there one day, it looks absolutely amazing!

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    1. Ah Chloe you definitely do - I think you'd love it x

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  2. This looks so exciting! I would love, love to see it and it's something I think that even my sometimes less enthusiastic half would enjoy with the kids!

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    1. haha they would indeed. Steve loves Kynren more than I do x

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  3. This show sounds amazing - I'd love to see it, after having been to Puy du Fou. Those old legends are so powerful!

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    1. They really are. It's a lush celebration of English history.

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  4. This sounds amazing! I had hoped it would coincide with our Durham trip but it wasn't to be. Definitely have to make another trip up to the NE;) Enjoy your visit hon xx

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    1. Ah hopefully next time. Thanks - we can't wait x

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  5. Looks awesome! Not too far from us either.

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    1. It's so good - definitely worth catching if you can x

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  6. How fun! My eldest daughter would love this - she's a real history buff.

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    1. My three absolutely loved it last year. I think 90 minutes is just the right length x

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  7. I can't wait we are off for the very first time in July, really looking forward to it

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    1. Yeah! Hope you love it as much as we do x

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  8. I literally love things like this. It looks like a great production and fantastic entertainment. The back story is lovely as well

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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