With less than two months to the launch of County Durham live action night show ‘Kynren – an epic tale of England’, the effort to create and source some 2,500 props is stepping up a pace.
The Eleven Arches’ 30-strong Props Team, made up of volunteers from the local community, are in the process of making around 1400 items to feature in Kynren, which launches in Bishop Auckland on July 02 and tells the story of 2,000 years of British history, encompassing Roman times, the Viking invasions, the Industrial Revolution and Second World War, as seen through the eyes of the North East.
Items that the team is tasked with creating include flails and hammers to be used during the Georgian Renaissance scenes, Roman shields and drums, quivers, crowns, spears and slaves’ cuffs, among many others. Every effort is being made to ensure that every detail of Kynren is historically accurate; Roman helmets are being created using vacuum forming with a mould from a real Roman helmet that was used in the Oscar-winning film Gladiator; one volunteer spent over six hours painstakingly mixing paint to create the perfect imperial red for 90 Roman shields.
Raphaêl Daguet, stage designer for Eleven Arches’ artistic partner Puy du Fou and assistant show producer for ‘Kynren’, said: “We are undertaking significant research to ensure historic authenticity to bring to life this epic journey through British history. The designs are then adapted for show purpose based on the artistic directions of Puy du Fou and practical criteria like weight and size, before the props team consider the best and most cost-effective way to make them.
“The effort that the team is putting in as we head towards the launch date is significant, and without the much-valued commitment from our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to deliver such an ambitious project.”
In addition to the creation of props, Eleven Arches is calling on the good nature of the general public to donate or loan historic props for use in the show.
So far the public have come forward with a wide range of items from musical instruments and bicycles to scythes and milk jars, however the team is still looking to secure a number of objects including 1920s bicycle and cars, fanfare drums and accordions.
Raphaêl added: “What we have received from the public has been fantastic and we offer our profuse thanks to those who have contributed, however we are still eager to receive more generous donations.”
Kynren will take audiences on a spellbinding journey through British history. Taking 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 dazzling production will include ships and a steam train, mass choreography, mesmerising pyrotechnics and spectacular lighting and water effects.
Involving more than 1,000 volunteers as cast and crew, who have undergone professional training by the best of the best, including Steve Boyd, a key figure in the choreography of the London 2012 opening ceremony, Kynren is expected to attract nightly audiences of up to 8,000.
Tickets are on sale with prices starting at £25 for adults and £19 for children. For more information, go to www.kynren.co.uk or call 0844 581 1252*
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