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

Mon, 16:54
Police block the Stanfield Road at Wymondham, after the fatal crash. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A young woman from the Norwich area has died almost two weeks after she suffered serious injuries in a crash on a Norfolk road.

Mon, 16:22
Principle at Iceni Acamdemy, gee cook with pupils after their OfStED improvements. 
L-r Rosie Soltani, Sarah Cusack, John Pearce, Jack Sutterby.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

The principal of an academy that was placed in special measures two years ago has insisted it is working hard after Ofsted inspectors found it still needs to improve.

Mon, 15:17
Dr Wendy Thomson, managing director of Norfolk County Council. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Councillors have given their strongest indication yet that they are not prepared to increase council tax in Norfolk after throwing out a suggestion that bills should rise by 1.99pc next year.

Mon, 14:25
A planning application has been submitted to build 30 homes on a wildlife haven in the centre of hethersett known locally as the paddock. Resident James Utting what's planners to rethink the development.
Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Campaigners are cautiously celebrating after a contentious bid to build homes on a wildlife haven was withdrawn.

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
Mon, 21:53
A crash blocked the A1075 at Ovington.

Emergency services were called to a crash which blocked a Norfolk road.

Read more
Monday, September 29, 2014
Elizabeth Truss, Environment Secretary and South West Norfolk MP, re-opens the debate over fox hunting

The government’s new environment secretary has reopened the debate over the fox hunting ban by calling for the legislation to be overturned.

Read more
Friday, December 27, 2013
Johanna Young murder pictures

Police have “several new leads” in the investigation into the unsolved murder of Watton teen Johanna Young in 1992.

Read more
Monday, June 16, 2014
East Anglian contract catering firm Edwards & Blake has won the contract to provide five cluster primary schools near Dereham with school lunches.

Contract catering firm Edwards & Blake has won the contract to provide five cluster primary schools near Dereham with school lunches.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C

Digital Edition

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