Search

Photo Gallery: Thursford Christmas Spectacular ready to start

08:23 09 November 2012

Scenes from the 2012 Thursford Collection Christmas Spectacular. Picture; Matthew Usher.

Scenes from the 2012 Thursford Collection Christmas Spectacular. Picture; Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

What involves 17 dancing monkeys, 18 screaming can-can girls, one talking Christmas pudding and is reported to be worth £10m a year to the Norfolk economy?

Scenes from the 2012 Thursford Collection Christmas Spectacular. Picture; Matthew Usher.Scenes from the 2012 Thursford Collection Christmas Spectacular. Picture; Matthew Usher.

It’s the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, of course, which is beginning its 36th year.

What started as a Christmas carol concert featuring eight singers performing to a crowd of about 530 people in an old farm shed is now regarded to be the biggest Christmas show in England, possibly Europe.

It attracts around 130,000 people each year, a similar amount to the Glastonbury music festival, and is often enjoyed by members of the Royal Family. The first full dress rehearsal was held on Tuesday, when the final touches were being put in place for the 82-show run. Above are some scenes from that.

John Cushing, the show’s founder, chief executive, director and producer, said: “This will be our most expensive production ever. We have thrown a budget of £3m plus at it and no expenses have been spared to make it as enjoyable as possible.

“I never imagined that it would become what it has when I started this up.

“This show is essentially in the middle of a field in the middle of nowhere, and people travel from far and wide to be here. I think the reason that it is so popular is that we manage to get some top performers in the country here. The choreographers, musical arrangers, costume designers and others behind the scenes are also the best around.

“And, with such a big cast and so much going on, you can’t get something like this anywhere else, even in London.”

The crowds will be entertained by an ensemble of more than 120 people performing dance, song and comedy.

The shows will feature around 80 pieces of music.

With 50 coachloads of people arriving at Thursford every day, the show is estimated to be worth £10m a year to the Norfolk economy.

Mr Cushing said: “We get businesses from Fakenham, Norwich, Holt, all over the place telling us how pleased they are that the Thursford Christmas Spectacular is starting.”

He added: “I always try to keep things fresh and bring in more variety to attract new audiences.

“This year, amongst other things, we have one of the best jugglers in the world in a man named Grant Goldie, who actually grew up a few miles away in Brancaster.”

The 2010 Thursford Christmas Spectacular was attended by the future Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. It was their first public appearance together since announcing their engagement a month earlier. This year’s show will feature a special tribute to the Queen to mark her diamond jubilee.

Mr Cushing said: “We often get royals here. We never know who will turn up until a couple of weeks beforehand.

“Who knows? We could get some royalty this year.”

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular runs until December 23, with two shows per day at 2pm and 7pm.

For more information, call 01328 878477 or go to www.thursford.com

During the Christmas Spectacular people can also visit the special Fantasy Land at Thursford, where they walk through a wonderful winter setting past life-sized penguins, polar bears and giant teddy bears, and pass busy elves hard at work in the toy factory. There, children will be able to meet Father Christmas. Booking is essential.

0 comments

Other news

Yesterday, 18:31
The newly-installed barriers on the A11 which the A11 Riders Action Group are campaigning against.  Picture: Matthew Usher.

The centre of Norwich saw 250 motorcyclists take to the road to protest a controversial motorway barrier today.

Yesterday, 11:35
Dead fish at Acle Dyke. Picture: Supplied

Environment experts will survey the region’s waterways in the coming weeks to gauge what damage the recent storms caused.

Yesterday, 07:00
Parents see the plans for the new Chapel Road School.

A multimillion pound rebuild of a complex needs school has been given the green light by councillors.

Fri, 15:54
Chris Ball, pharmacist at Hurn Chemist in Norwich, who is part of a new campaign urging patients to cut down on wasted medicines. Picture: Supplied

Patients have been urged to help save the NHS millions of pounds after it emerged that almost £5m was being lost every year in Norfolk through unused prescription medicines.

Most read

Thursday, February 6, 2014
Polly Grieff and her husband Eric.  Their house Old Manor, in Saham Toney, will be on Restoration Home - one year on.  Picture: Ian Burt

It was its down-at-heel aura that first attracted Polly Grieff to the crumbling Old Manor at Saham Toney.

Read more
Thursday, June 16, 2011
A pair of blue tits have found an unusual place to nest.

Birds raise their family in RAF jet

Read more
Mon, 16:11
Ove Fundin, 79 year old former world speedway champion and Norwich Stars rider, at Horham Community centre to support the bid to relaunch the Norwich Stars team.

It was 60 years ago when a young unknown and shy Swedish speedway rider made his way to Norwich by train, pushing his bike, held together with bits of old wire and string, between stations.

Read more
Mon, 09:21
GoGoDragons design by Karis Youngman, age 20.

From colourful creatures inspired by the myths and legends surrounding dragons to fire-breathing beasts celebrating our fine city – our design-a-dragon competition sparked a huge array of great entries from people of all ages.

Read more
Friday, October 17, 2014
Ross Brawn, centre, deserves huge credit for the Mercedes he left behind in the winter.

Before a single metre was raced in anger this season, our EDPF1 podcast crew predicted the destination of the 2014 constructors’ and drivers’ championships – and everyone said Mercedes would take team honours.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Wymondham and Attleborough Mercury e-edition today E-edition