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A Gaggle of Geese Get Ready to Perform Live on the Kynren Stage

Published : 28 Jun, 2024

A gaggle of geese are set up to get top 'bill' in this year's outdoor live theatre performance Kynren, which begins its 2024 summer season on Saturday 27th July in Bishop Auckland.

Since 2016, audiences of up to 8,000 people have awed and cooed when the 30 web-footed stars of the show waddle into view on the seven-and-a-half-acre-outdoor-stage. 

But it doesn't happen by accident - a team of trainers work with the animal cast for weeks in advance, preparing the animals for their stage debut.

The geese, which help to tell the tale of England's history and Britain's reliance upon rearing livestock, are currently taking part in rehearsals, ready to feature in the 90-minute spectacular in both the Georgian Harvest scene and the finale.

"To make sure they are show ready, the geese take part in training every Tuesday evening with some of the 1,000 cast and crew members that are involved in Kynren each year. The volunteers are taught to understand the body language of the geese and how their own body language affects the geese and their movement," said Laurie Robinson, who is the director of cavalry and estates at Kynren, which cares for the animals taking part in the show.

"Despite people's impression of geese, the gaggle at Kynren are extremely friendly and have helped a number of people overcome their fear of birds."

"It's funny to see the audience's reaction to the geese. They really steal the scene, and you can't help but smile when they're on the stage. You never have the same day twice working with animals, and the geese are a joy to be around."

The geese live on the Kynren site year-round and have a large house to call home as well a lake that they swim on daily.

"All of the geese seem right at home at Kynren. They love running around in the grounds and my favourite thing to do is watch them waddle together - they're such a lovely group and are incredibly loyal too," added Karen Brass, who has been working with the geese since 2019 as one of the Animal Team Leaders.

They also have a starring role at Kynren's pre-show entertainment experience, the Viking Village, where the friendly gaggle of geese waddle through the authentic recreation of a traditional 9th century settlement, as it's inhabitants prepare for a raid.

Complete with a cookhouse, cottages and a working blacksmith's forge, the geese help to bring to life what Viking times would have really been like all those centuries ago, before visitors take their seats before the main event.

From Boudicca's battles with the Romans to two world wars, as well as Vikings, Tudors, Stuarts, Queen Victoria and the Industrial Revolution, Kynren is a real whistlestop tour of 2000 years if history, myth and legend. It is a spell-binding, family-friendly experience delivering thrills, shocks, tears, laughs, goosebumps and gasps on a truly cinematic scale. The 8,000 seater tribune provides panoramic views across the outdoor stage.

The 90-minute performances start at sunset and end in starlight, and will be taking place every Saturday night from 27th July to 14th September.

Tickets cost from £26 for adults and from £16 for under 18s. Children aged 3 and under are free when sat on an adult's knee.

Posted on Jun 28, 2024

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