Kynren team begins mammoth task of checking 3,000 props ahead of spectacular show's return

A 30-strong team have started the painstaking process of checking all the props used for Kynren, the UK's biggest outdoor theatrical performance, as it prepares to return next month.

Thursday, 30th May 2019, 1:02 pm
Props team leader Mark Rossi inspects some of the 3,000 weapons, shields and helmets used in the production of Kynren - an epic tale of England. Pic: North News.

Performed by a 1,000-strong cast and crew on a 7.5-acre outdoor stage, complete with its own lake, the show features thousands of specially-made props.

They include more than 500 weapons, 200 Roman and Viking helmets, 174 musical instruments and 150 shields.

Props team leader Mark Rossi and his crew need to have 3,000 items in the right place at the right time to make sure Kynren - an epic tale of England runs smoothly. Pic: North News.

As part of this year’s show, props team leader Mark Rossi and his crew are also building two Viking burial biers, hand carts and many other items for Kynren’s new Viking Village.

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The retired art teacher and his team have to ensure every one of more than 3,000 authentic-looking weapons, shields, helmets and banners are in the right place at the right time for Kynren - an epic tale of England to run smoothly.

They often need to be on standby to quickly fix any damaged props on the spot and make sure all props are accounted for at the end of each show.

Related: Rare 'Viking' chicks join the cast of spectacular Kynren living history showThe show is set to take place at Bishop Auckland, County Durham, every Saturday from June 29 to September 14 (except August 3).

Mark Rossi inspects some of the props used in the spectacular Kynren production. Running repairs are often needed to have them ready for the next performance. Pic: North News.

It is a dramatic re-telling of 2,000 years of English history and legend, from Boudicca and King Arthur to Queen Elizabeth I, and the English Civil War to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and both World Wars.

The cast and crew features 1,000 local volunteers, whose ages range from five to 82, working together with a world-class team of professionals.

As well as the human cast, the show features 33 performance horses, donkeys, sheep, geese, goats, cows, and even some authentic Icelandic chickens as part of the new Viking village.

Kynren – an epic tale of England is produced by Eleven Arches, a registered charity whose objective is to establish Bishop Auckland as an international tourist destination.

It aims to attract visitors and investment which will act as a catalyst for dramatic social and economic change in the area. For more information, visit www.kynren.com.