Eleven Arches announces plans for 'Kynren - an Epic Tale of England' in 2017

Olympic Mass Choreographer Steve Boyd to join Eleven Arches as Creative Director
17 performances planned for next season
Drive to increase Volunteer force by 500 people

‘Kynren – an Epic Tale of England’ concluded its inaugural season on a high note. Over 100,000 ticketholders experienced the show during the run of 15 performances – which included an extra date added due to overwhelming demand.

Kynren has won over the doubters who thought it could never be done; that it was too ambitious, too audacious; no one would come to a corner of the North East to see a new kind of show performed by locals. It has in fact proved to be a spectacular success, surpassing the expectations of its most ardent supporters.

A show of world-class calibre, Kynren has received plaudits from critics and audiences alike, with 95% of the hundreds of Trip Advisor reviewers rating it as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’. Its success is due to years of detailed planning, quality of execution and above all, the commitment and professionalism of the community of ‘Archers’, the volunteers who comprised the 1000-strong cast and crew. Having been professionally trained by several world-leading experts in large scale live shows, they delivered a spectacle that delighted audiences and earned standing ovations for every one if its 15 performances.

Eleven Arches is now gearing up for Kynren’s second season. Plans are being devised to build on the success of the first season to make the show even bigger and better. A key goal is to reach deeper into the community and increase volunteer participation by 50% to be 1,500 strong. Two more performances will be added to the schedule to create a run of 17 dates in total. Eleven Arches is confident each show will be performed to a capacity audience of 8,000 – bringing around 136,000 visitors to Bishop Auckland from all over the UK and beyond. Many of these visitors will not only experience Kynren, but will plan trips around the show that encompass some of the other superb attractions in the North East.

Far from resting on its laurels, Eleven Arches knows it is critical to magnify the success of the first season by upping the ante for 2017. With this in mind, Steve Boyd has been enlisted to join the Eleven Arches team as Creative Director. A specialist in mass choreography for ceremonies and live events, Steve has been involved in 13 Olympic Games, spanning Barcelona ’92 to Rio 2016, and led the volunteer performers in the spectacular opening and closing ceremonies of London 2012. Steve masterminded Eleven Arches’ original Mix‘n’Match sessions last year which heralded the beginning of the volunteer training programme. Now, fresh from the Opening Ceremony of Rio 2016, he will be intricately involved in the recruiting, auditioning and training of performers and the artistic evolution and direction of Kynren as it gears up for season two.

Steve says “My favourite thing about my job is working with regular people with no prior performance experience. I love developing teaching methods that move people beyond their notions of what is possible. Once you cover the basics, mass casts produce their own magic and can achieve the extraordinary. The astonishing success the Kynren performers achieved in the first season is just the tip of the iceberg. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with this warm and "up-for-it" community to build on their successes and leap into the next stage of the Kynren journey.

Anne-Isabelle Daulon, Chief Executive Office, adds “We are challenging the community - and Steve - to increase volunteer participation rate and deliver a show that is even bigger and even better. This is a very exciting time in the evolution of Kynren; in 2017 you can expect more pageantry, more combat, more amazing choreography and more visual delight – on an even greater scale. In our first season, our performers proved they learn very fast and are capable of great things – so we need to keep challenging them! Steve joining us as Creative Director is a clear sign of our commitment to our volunteers to provide them with the best possible director, as we continue to build a world-class show that we believe will become a household name throughout the UK and beyond”.

Details of the volunteer recruitment programme will be announced in November.

Please contact Julia Fairnington, Eleven Arches’ communications manager, for interviews or filming opportunities, on [email protected] / 01388 439802.