Friday, 13 July 2018


I was driving through Bishop Auckland, and noticed that there were banners everywhere, drawing your attention to something called Kynren.  'Bishop Auckland Welcomes Kynren Visitors'. Was this the name of a sporting team? No, it wasn't the right sort of name. And the banners suggested something else.

I got hold of a leaflet and all was clear. This was a historical re-enactment spectacular, with the emphasis on thrilling visual effects in rapid succession, as an entertainment. Plus fireworks. With families as the target audience.

Not my cup of tea at all! But plenty of people might like to see this, and I wasn't inclined to pooh-pooh Kynren as a costume pastiche. It looked well-produced, a lively evening history show for a family audience. Indeed, I'm now giving the organisers free advertising by writing a post about the Kynren events scheduled for 2018. For there are a series of shows during the summer months.

Here's the leaflet.

And here's a few screenshots of the two Kynren websites - the organisers' ( and the website for making bookings (

As I said, not my thing, but I admit it looks spectacular. So what's coming up? What's my point?

A familiar mantra on this blog, that's what. Look at the horrendous prices! I goggled at those listed on the leaflet...

The website gave a lot more information. Or persuasive hard sell, if you prefer. (Click on these shots for the detail)

As you can see, the seats with the least good view are the Bronze seats, and if you want better, you have an escalating choice of Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond seats at correspondingly escalating prices. The website says that Diamond ticket holders get 'VIP' treatment, with a fast entry procedure and a shuttle bus to take them to the event (which suggests that even Gold ticket holders have to leave their cars far away, and face a weary trudge to their seats). As for the actual prices, the leaflet highlights what it considers to be a 'great' deal. Just £75 for a family of four, based on 2 adults and 2 children in Bronze (children under 3 go free, sat on lap). But that's for the worst seats. If you want the best, the Diamond seats, Mum and Dad need to blow £202 for 2 adults and 2 kids. 

Good grief.

I suppose the show might be so good that £202 would seem money well spent. And of course one can spend a lot more than this to see certain popular rock bands and singing artistes. Or to go to the opera.  Or to watch England play a losing game in the World Cup. But all such prices are way too much for me. 

Am I just a flint-hearted meanie? A crabby old miser? Quite possibly! But I don't think it's a good use of limited cash resources to pay prices like this. What are you getting for the money? Nothing tangible. It's like an expensive meal. Next day, it's only a memory. And there's a big hole in your monthly budget that you might come to regret. I'm also concerned about encouraging North-East families on 'austerity' incomes to spend extravagantly, although I accept the notion that in austere times it may lift the spirit to see an amazing show, despite the expense.    

I have spoken. Now ignore me, and buy your tickets. 


  1. Mmmm... Not sure I agree with you this time, Lucy. 29 scenes, 1000 performers, animals + their welfare and owners' fees. That will be one expensive production, comparable (perhaps) to a concert orchestra. And with so many performances annually there must be a willing and appreciative audience out there who are willing and able to pay.

    Like you, I wouldn't pay it, but I'd willingly fork out a tidy sum to hear and see an orchestra and choir present Beethoven's 9th Symphony.

    However, for more thrifty souls I can thoroughly recommend The Ukes uv Azzard ( Our performances are free, though a pound or two in the pot for a local charity is always appreciated.

  2. Well, I didn't actually use the phrase 'rip-off', and I don't think it can be called that, because clearly you do get a spectacular show. It's just that even £75 is a lot of money in my book, and I wouldn't be able to bring myself to pay it unless the show or performance was really something I wanted to see. Which I suppose is not actually saying anything unusual, if you have the slightest need to watch your spending!

    I trust the Ukes uv Azzard are deservedly thriving. I do admire your skill, and willingness to entertain the fickle public!


  3. Point taken. Actually it's that word just £75 that offends me. I guess advertisers wouldn't use 'just' and 'only' if they didn't work, but they just serve to warn me that I'm not getting a bargain.


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