PROCUREMENT may not sound the most exciting part of preparations for a live action night show opening in the region this summer - but it has proved an epic role for one buyer.

A host of weird and wonderful items have to be found for Kynren - an epic tale of England, making director of procurement at Eleven Arches Rob Baillie the envy of his professional peers.

He has searched across the country to buy props and supplies for the show such as 1920s cars, horses and carts, costumes from the Norman era and even a train to deliver the production- billed as the UK’s most spectacular open-air night show since the opening of the London 2012 Olympics.

The project's scale means Mr Baillie has brought new meaning to the term ‘bulk buying’.

High volume products he has sourced include 356 tonnes of fibre mix for the stage, 2,500sqm of grass seed, 2,500 trees, 600 meters of sheet piling and 10,000 square meters of cladding.

Mr Baillie, whose career spans 30 years in the private, public and now voluntary sector, said delivering on a project of this size and scale is his most exciting and challenging role to date.

“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," he said.

"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’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.”

The supplies are going into transforming the site at Bishop Auckland into a 7.5 acre stage.

At its centre is an 85m wide lake which was this week filled with 90,000 gallons of water- hiding a metal bridge and hydraulics which will make performers appear to walk on water and reveal key features of the show's set.

The site's ongoing transformation can be seen in a time lapse video, available to view online at

The 90 minute show will take audiences of up to 8,000 people on a journey through 2,000 years of history.

Involving more than 1,000 volunteers as cast and crew and an accompanying cast of animals, the show will feature mass choreography, pyrotechnics, music, lighting and water effects.

Kynren runs for 14 shows, starting on Saturday, July 2, for details and tickets or call 0844-5811252.