A three-hour extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, comedy and variety. Yes, it can only be the Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
The traditional show is one of Britain’s hottest tickets and gives visitors the chance to watch West End performers in deepest Norfolk.
This year is extra special as Thursford celebrates its 40th show. It all started in 1977 when the Thursford Collection hosted a small carol concert to a crowd of 50. The idea was to raise additional funds to support the upkeep of its steam engines, fairground rides and gondolas.
During the intervening years, the small concert has developed into the country’s largest Christmas show, attracting around 180,000 visitors throughout the festive period – more than the 135,000 tickets sold for this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
The show has a cast of 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians who collaborate on 85 different routines. The result is a fast moving celebration of the festive season featuring an eclectic mix of both seasonal and year round favourites for every age.
Alongside the festive fun of the Christmas Spectacular Thursford also offers the experience for children to visit Santa Claus on Santa’s Magical Journey.
They can meet the friendly penguins, polar bears and Santa’s elves who offer a helping hand on the way to Santa’s grotto, where he is waiting with a special gift. Watch out for the Snowman family though, they are accurate at throwing snowballs!
John Cushing, the show’s director and producer, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time for all and the Thursford Christmas Spectacular is the perfect outing for every generation.
“Music has formed a huge part of the Christmas season for hundreds of years and we are no exception to that rule! Our hope is to leave you with a glow in your heart and a smile on your face from a memorable experience.
“The production team and I have spent countless hours pondering over this year’s performance to uphold our reputation for hosting an outstanding Christmas Spectacular.”
Benjamin Ellin, the music director and conductor, added: “The whole spectacle, across the board, is a giant team effort and everyone works incredibly hard.
“But, the reward is the reception the audience gives us. The fact that we have more show visitors outside of the West End is a testament to the hard work of everyone. I know all of us are proud to be working on the largest nationally acclaimed Christmas extravaganza in Britain.”
Thursford Christmas Spectacular opened yesterday and continues until Friday, December 23. Tickets are £28.50-£40 at www. eticketing.co.uk/thursfordchristmasspectacular.