Kynren's cast and crew have undergone training from experienced choreographers as they learn to get to grips with 'the art of war' to portray some of Britain's bloodiest battles.

Choreographers have been working with volunteers who will take part in the outdoor spectacle in Bishop Auckland ahead of the first show on July 27.

One of the show's combat team members, Rhys McGurk, has been growing his combat skills with Kynren since he was seven. After starting as a young King Arthur, he currently plays a Gladiator.

Rhys said: "The attention to detail that goes into every combat scene is hugely impressive – we get to learn highly intricate movements and elaborate sword skills to bring these fighting sequences to life on stage."

(Image: Kynren)

Wendy Wilshere, head of volunteer casting and engagement, said: "We’re indebted to the volunteers who help us tell the story of Kynren each summer here in Bishop Auckland.

"Learning stage combat, acting and weapons skills from the expertly trained team is a great opportunity, and lots of fun, for many of the people taking part in Kynren."

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Rehearsals for the show started in February where techniques such as sword etiquette, 'how to fake a death' and mass movement scenes like the Battle of Stamford Bridge and the Viking Attack, were all part of the training.

Tickets start from £26 for adults and £16 for under 18s.

The 90-minute performances will run every Saturday night from July 27 to September 14.