Lavish festive show returns to Thursford
Preparations are well under way in the tiny village of Thursford near Fakenham for Europe’s largest and most lavish Christmas show.
It returns for its most ambitious and extravagant show to date, following a hiatus last year due to Covid-19 and will be running for seven weeks.
Set in the midst of the world’s largest collection of steam engines, mechanical organs and fairground rides, Thursford’s opulent Christmas spectacular is performed by a cast of 130 professional performers.
Many have come directly from the West End in this three-hour show-stopping bonanza featuring a wide range of music, dance and comedy, with many more surprises along the way.
This glittering, tinsel-packed variety show has been entertaining visitors of all ages from across the globe since opening its doors on Christmas Eve more than 40 years ago in 1977.
Seen by nearly 6 million people and regularly attracting up to 50 coaches a day from far and wide, the team have been busy auditioning over 3000 performers this year.
A brand-new lighting has been installed to ensure that this year’s beloved and highly anticipated family-run show brings bucket loads of Christmas cheer to audiences who missed out last year.
This family-run annual festive treat is delighted to be re-employing around 360 dancers, singers, musicians, variety acts, technicians, wardrobe teams, ushers, caterers and production staff. It was with great sadness that last year was the first time since opening its doors, that the show was unable to happen.
John Cushing, chief executive, founder, producer and director of the Christmas Spectacular, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be back this year with our Christmas Spectacular show. It is such an important occasion, not just for the cast and crew but the local community, hotels, bed and breakfasts, rental properties and hospitality venues throughout Norfolk."
"We cannot wait to welcome the thousands of you back through our doors and give you the most extravagant Spectacular show yet. It has been a challenging couple of years for so many and we want to provide as much joy, over the festive period, as we possibly can.”
Ready to light up the countryside this festive season, this year’s extraordinary selection of acts includes ITVs Britain’s Got Talent finalists, the brilliantly eccentric and energetic British-Armenian comedian Kev Orkian who will introduce the world-class acrobat Billy George on the Cyr Wheel. Returning to the stage is renowned theatre organist Phil Kelsall on Thursford’s Mighty Wurlitzer (one of the largest remaining Wurlitzers in Europe and the centre piece for the show) and the gravity-defying duo Delfina & Bartek will also feature in an acrobatic spectacle.
The creative team includes Mr Cushing, producer and director, Benjamin Ellin, musical diector and conductor, Tracey Iliffe, choreographer, Peter Savidge, casting director, Jonathan Smith, musical orchestrator and Stephen Adnitt, designer).
Visitors will also have the opportunity to experience the truly unique Thursford Collection which also includes The Enchanted Journey of Light, a magical walk-through experience for all ages running from November 19 until 23rd December 23.
Replacing the full production in 2019 due to the pandemic, this indoor wonderland trail of steam engines, kinetic fairy-tale characters and an immersive light and sound experience will lead to a four-acre Lantern Light Extravaganza of beautiful and breath-taking outdoor luminous sculptures, from a fantasy forest of jungle animals to the wilds of the North Pole.
Tickets for The Enchanted Journey of Light are available separately through the website
Thursford Christmas Spectacular will run from November 9-December 23 with afternoon performances beginning at 2pm and evening shows at 7pm.
Tickets can be purchased here: