It may be mid-summer, but preparations are already getting well under way for the annual Thursford Christmas Spectacular.
This week, Britain’s answer to New York’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular began its audition process at London’s Dance Attic studios.
A record 700 dancers from across the world applied with only 22 successful candidates being chosen to eventually tap, kick and cavort across the stage on the opening night, Thursday, November 10.
The show stars a whole host of West End performers who are dressed head-to-toe with a staggering 1,000 ostrich feathers and over 10,000 rhinestones!
Only the world renowned Moulin Rouge and Lido de Paris have a longer dancer kick line in Europe.
The Thursford Christmas Spectacular, situated near Fakenham, is a three-hour performance delivering an extravaganza of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety.
The show has a cast of 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians who collaborate on 85 different pieces.
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.
It is the largest show of its kind in Europe with 180,000 people making the journey to visit Thursford in the weeks running up to Christmas.
The village itself has a population of just 200, but during the six-week run of the show, up to 50 coaches per day travel from all over the country to the venue – and many of the passengers have been visiting for years.
Tracey Iliffe, the choreographer, said: “The auditions went fantastically well. Cutting the numbers down is always a difficult process for the production team.
“Our quality is equal to the West End using a range of top quality performers, and with a record level of interest we’re looking forward to working with our new incredible line up of dancers.”
John Cushing, the director and producer of the Christmas Spectacular, added: “Around 180,000 people visit Thursford over Christmas, which is a similar number to the attendance at Glastonbury.
“The number of visitors is clearly fantastic for the local economy, but I get the greatest amount of joy from the smiles on the faces of truly happy customers who have enjoyed a memorable musical and visual experience, second to none in Norfolk.”
The Christmas Spectacular is part of the Thursford collection, which last year attracted an audience of over 250,000 people from across Britain.
It offers Christmas fun for all ages, with children’s stage shows, a 4D theatre, and Santa’s Magical Journey where children can meet penguins, polar bears and visit Santa in his toy filled house before the big Spectacular.
Visit the website www.thursford.com/ for further details or call the box office on 01328 878 477.