A procurement professional is being tasked with sourcing some of most weird and wonderful items of his career as part of the preparations for County Durham live action night show ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’.
Rob Baillie, director of procurement at Eleven Arches who are organising the spectacular show, is looking set to be the envy of procurement professionals the length and breadth of the country thanks to a remit that includes purchasing everything from 1920s cars to horses and carts, costumes from the Norman era, and even a train, to deliver the production which will be the UK’s most spectacular open-air live action night show since the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.
Kynren will immerse audiences in a captivating story of British history, as seen through the eyes of the North East. Stretching across 2,000 years, the story will span Roman Britain, the Viking invasions, the Industrial Revolution and the Second World War and will feature impeccably recreated props including boats, cars and a steam train, as well as mass choreography, mesmerising pyrotechnics and spectacular lighting and water effects. Involving more than 1,000 volunteers as cast and crew, and an accompanying cast of animals comprising horses, sheep, pigs, cattle and even ducks, Kynren is expected to attract nightly audiences of up to 8,000 when it launches for the first of 14 summer shows on July 02.
The scale of the project means that Rob has brought new meaning to the word ‘bulk buying’. High volume products he has had to source have included 356 tonnes of fibre mix for the stage, 2500 square meters of grass seed, 2500 trees, 600 meters of sheet piling and 10,000 square meters of cladding.
Rob, whose career spans 30 years in in private, public and now the voluntary sector, says that working on the delivery of a project of such a huge size and scale, is the most exciting and challenging role he’s undertaken to date.
He said: “Kynren is a truly unique prospect; nothing of its kind has ever been delivered here in the UK before, so in terms of sourcing and purchasing items either to feature in the show, or to support its delivery, there is no ‘how to’ guide. One day I could be trying to get hold of cedar shingles and the next it could be trumpets and other brass instruments for a scene! The most unusual items I’ve had to source are probably 75 Christmas trees – in April! It really is a daily challenge but one which I’m relishing.
“It’s so rewarding to be a part of a project that will showcase the North East on a worldwide stage and which will have a positive impact on the economic and social prosperity of the region.”
Kynren will take place on a 7.5 acre landscaped stage (equivalent to five football pitches, with a full-size lake at its centre) against the backdrop of Auckland Castle,
The creative and technical teams behind Puy du Fou are intimately involved in the production of Kynren to ensure it is delivered to the same spine-tingling standards of story-telling, production values and technical effects. Eleven Arches – a registered charity – is aiming to achieve the same level of success with Kynren, which will radically change the fortune of the area with the investment that visitors from around the UK and abroad will bring during their visit to County Durham to watch the 90-minute night show.
Tickets are on sale now, with prices starting at £25 for adults and £19 for children. For more information, go towww.kynren.co.uk or call 0844 581 1252
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