On 23rd March 2017, we opened our doors to the media to give an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into the production of Kynren and reveal what’s in store for the 2017 season. 

Eleven Arches’ new creative director Steve Boyd is focusing on enriching each of the 25 scenes in the show.  This year, you will experience extra layers of detail, more special effects and larger cast numbers, while the soundtrack has been evolved with augmented audio effects and phased surround sound.

Each scene has been optimised for maximum visual impact in the context of the depth of darkness in which it is performed. The earlier scenes have been specifically redesigned with specialist lighting, pyrotechnics and effects for maximum impact at dusk, while later scenes make the most of the complete darkness. With show times calibrated to ensure each performance commences at the same relative light level, this important development means that the visual experience will be consistently impressive at every performance.

2017 sees the arrival of Britain’s iconic Celtic leader, Queen Boudicca, who, in a completely new scene, makes a dramatic appearance with her daughters astride their cantering horses.  This scene has been painstakingly developed, involving an extravagant new costume befitting such an imposing female character, and the training of Eleven Arches’ elegant Lusitano performance horses to rear up on cue and perform amidst fire and flambeaux.

Boudicca is not the only new character to feature in Kynren 2017; you will be treated to sightings of Augustine of Canterbury, Prince Bishop Bek, Bishop Trevor, and Henry VIII’s ‘fixer-in-chief’, Cardinal Wolsey. Several other story lines have been expanded or restaged; the Vikings, the coronation of William the Conqueror, Shakespeare’s scene and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee all benefit from new treatments, while the dialogue has been revised and enhanced throughout the entire show, engaging more female characters in narrating the story. If you are a return visitor, you may also notice the addition of Lindisfarne fisherwomen, a giant Axeman at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, medieval wrestlers, a musket battle between Roundheads and Cavaliers in the English Civil War, and a thrilling WWI motorcycle chase involving German and British soldiers.  As for the finale, this will be even more spectacular than before, with the entire cast involved, re-imagined mass choreography and new special effects.

The animal cast hasn’t escaped scrutiny, and sees the addition of new animal characters – a donkey, three goats and a Durham Shorthorn ox have now joined the cast.

Finally, to ensure Kynren’s second season starts with a bang and to celebrate Opening Night, extra surprises have been planned exclusively for the enjoyment of visitors attending the Premiere on 1st July. However, these are being kept secret until then - the only way to find out what they are is to be there…