Kynren: A lesson on 2,000 years of History

Date Posted: 13/04/2018

Here, STO shines a spotlight on Kynren – An Epic Tale of England, and hears from a teacher on why seeing the open-air historic production was such a winner for some of her pupils.  

Set in Bishop Auckland in County Durham, Kynren is a 90-minute open-air theatre show in the North East. 

The action-packed spectacular is performed live by a cast of hundreds and is fast-paced with an original script, special effects, water jets, video projections, pyrotechnics, grand sets and an original sound-track, which will be experienced in surround-sound. 

The production portrays 2,000 years of British history, as seen through the eyes of the North East. With so many periods of history covered, the show offers a great way to show pupils Britain’s past live in front of their very eyes. 

One school trip, lots of learning 

A group of ten Year 5 and Year 6 pupils from Escomb Primary School in Bishop Auckland witnessed the epic outdoor show from both sides of the auditorium in 2016. Their trip tied in with Drama and History studies. Plus, some of the pupils from the school were actually in the show cast. 

Head teacher Wendy Gill said: “We were invited to see Kynren in 2016, which was the first year that it was performed. We took the children to the show as it had clear links with History and Drama and we also had some other pupils from the school and a member of staff who were in the Kynren cast!”

School trips to Kynren

Speaking about what she enjoyed most about the show from an educational perspective, Wendy said: “It was the immense pride and passion for our own national heritage and culture, and the fact that something so spectacular has been created by volunteers.”

She said the children were spellbound by Kynren’s 29 scenes that include the Roman occupation, Viking and Norman invasions, Medieval feasts and jousting. 

They were also able to see the splendour of the Tudors, the English Civil War, Georgian Renaissance, Industrial Revolution and two world wars right up to the current period, as seen through the eyes of Arthur, the son of a mining family from the North East of England.

“The children enjoyed every single bit,” said Wendy. “They were mesmerised by the whole performance, as were the supporting members of staff.”

New for 2018 

This year the cast is gearing up to offer new stunts for season three, including fire shows and horse spectacles. Viking battles will be even bigger, plus Kynren will be commemorating the Suffragette movement.  

There is also a new immersive pre-show experience with time to interact with the live actors, plus visit the Animal Croft, which will give children the opportunity to meet the show’s animal cast and learn more about their training and day-to-day care. 

This year the show will run from 30th June until 15th September. Teachers can contact groups@kynren.co.uk for more details on taking a class.

For more information on taking a school group, visit www.kynren.com

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