KYNREN’S role in reviving public pageantry will be the focus of a free public lecture.

Dr Mark Freeman will discuss the similarities between Bishop Auckland’s live open air historical production and pageants as part of the Insights lecture series at Newcastle University tonight.

Public pageants were at the height of their popularity in the 20th century, when were they an important way for communities to remember historical events. Like Kynren, these plays featured a large cast of volunteers, were staged outdoors and included local and national history.

Dr Freeman, a reader in education and social history at University College London, is involved in the Redress of the Past project, aimed at revealing the stories that communities and institutions told about themselves through historical pageantry.

The tradition has steadily declined since the 1950s but Dr Freeman will show how productions like Kynren, which chronicles 2,000 years of history, are reviving these once popular spectacles.

He said: “I went to see Kynren in 2016 and 2017 and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was very well put together and inspiring. It shares many characteristics of pageantry, in that is is outdoors and uses volunteers under professional direction.”

The free talk takes place in Newcastle University’s Curtis auditorium in the Herschel Building at 5.30pm. Seats are available on a first come first served basis.