BIGGER, better and brighter was the promise of organisers for the second year of Kynren when it burst back onto the stage for the official opening last night.

And what a night it was with those from far and wide flocking to see the Epic Tale of England with 29 moments in history being brought to the stage thanks to more than a thousand volunteers.

With many audience members returning following last year’s successful debut show, the open air spectacular pulled out all the stops to wow both old and new visitors from it base in Bishop Auckland.

Among the new additions to the show was Britain’s Celtic leader Queen Boudicca as well as appearances from the Venerable Bede, Prince Bishop Bek, Bishop Trevor and Henry VIII’s “fixer-in-chief” Cardinal Wolsey.

Creative director Steve Boyd, who was instrumental in designing the opening ceremonies at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics, showed off his creative flare as he expanded on some of the old scenes making the show even more spectacular than last year.

Guests were also greeted with a free goodie bag and welcomed by live music from the Spennymoor and Ferryhill colliery bands who added to the party atmosphere.

The weather remained calm for the show, following a week of downpours for the region which organisers said was responsible for numbers being lower than last year’s opening night.

Those that did attend had nothing but praise for both organisers and volunteers though as the whole 90-minute spectacular ran without a glitch and received a standing ovation.

Along with the extra characters, the special effects and costumes were cranked up a gear and the animal cast stole the show as horse, cows, sheep, geese and even the odd donkey delighted the audience.

Anne-Isabelle Daulon, chief executive of Eleven Arches, said she was delighted with how the new show had been received.

She said: “It was fantastic. We had a standing ovation and I think the crowd has been very appreciative because we asked them what we could improve and it was incredible to see them show their emotions too.”

She added: “We never thought it was possible to make so many improvements but all the hard work has paid off.

“It’s not easy to change established scenes but in this case our archers have risen to the challenge and we were so keen to make sure the audience would be absolutely thrilled to come back and really understand that it can become a traditional with people coming back to see it year after year.”