On one of the most dramatic weeks of the year, the extravagance of Thursford’s Christmas Spectacular was a welcome break from reality into another festive dimension with three hours of singing, dancing and comedy.
John Cushing’s show, which is now in its 40th year, is said to be the biggest of its kind in the country, and it’s not hard to believe that after stepping through the archway at Thursford, after which you are transported into a Christmas-filled world, and it sure doesn’t slow down after that.
This being my first time at Thursford, I wasn’t entirely sure of what to expect, but having been told there was not much like it outside of Las Vegas, I had high expectations, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
It’s hard to comprehend just how much work goes into this variety show, but with the countless props, slick choreography and flawless musicality from musicians and singers alike, you start to get a sense of it.
Stand-out performances came in the shape of the March of the Wooden Soldiers, where dancers impressed the packed audience with their domino-effect, the choir who sang Little Drummer Boy as they walked past the audience – during which you could appreciate individual voices – and the Lord of the Dance where proceedings were dazzled with a little spritz of Irish culture.
High praise has to be given to these singers and dancers who seemed to be able to perfect all of the genres they explored, with smooth transition from one to the next.
Although perhaps slightly overshadowed by the singing and dancing, kudos also have to be given to comedian Paul Eastwood who warmed the crowd up and often had them roaring with laughter, and to Japanese Edo-Daikagura artists Senmaru and Yuki, who brought a global touch to the evening.
I can honestly say I had never felt this festive on 10th of November before, and it was a wonderful wintry feeling.
The show runs until Friday, December 23 with performance times at 2pm and/or 7pm on some of those days.
To book, visit: thursford.com.