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Thursford Christmas Spectacular - an unexpected delight of a show.

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Thursford Christmas Spectacular

Thursford's Christmas Spectacular, has enchanted over 5.8 million viewers over the last 47 years in the otherwise sleepy English rural village, 116 miles north of London, and is a triumph of festive entertainment. It's the largest Christmas musical theatre show in the UK.

Mark Walmsley with Lucy Surgeon

I saw the show on Sunday 10th December 2023 with family members, with the added delight of seeing dancer Lucy Surgeon at her very best.

Lucy is the daughter of my wife's ex-husband and his second wife. I'm not sure quite how that makes us related but that doesn't really matter in our loving blended extended family.

Immersed in the enchanting ambiance of mechanical organs and whimsical fairground carousels that move, the production boasts a stellar cast of 120 seasoned performers, many of whom have graced the stages of London's West End.

Over the course of a three-hour performance with a generous 25-minute interval, the audience is treated to a dazzling array of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour, acrobatics and juggling, creating a wonder-filled celebration of the holiday season.

This fast-paced spectacle showcases a fusion of both timeless seasonal classics and perennial favourites, seamlessly blending famous chart-toppers with traditional carols.

The show's grand finale features a breathtaking flyover of white doves, adding a magical touch to the already mesmerizing experience.

Every day, during the annual 10-week Norfolk residency, up to fifty coaches make the pilgrimage from various corners of the UK, and further afield, to enjoy the show, the pre-show Christmas market experience, and the stunning setting.

If Walt Disney had ever had the chance to collaborate with the producers of the BBC's Good Old Days music hall show and then asked Andre Rieu for a little advice ... this would have been the result.

It was a performance of precision, passion, and applomb from all concerned, including a dazzling Wurlitzer organist doing his 44th annual show, one of the funniest, fastest and cleverest comic hosts I've seen in a long time, and ensemble singing and dancing you'd have to go to the West End or Broadway to match.

You know you're enjoing a show when the hour-long first half feels like 10 minutes and you wish it didn't have to end when it did.

Get a ticket if you can, for this year or next.

Mark Walmsley

Chief Culture Vulture

Arts & Culture Network

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Mark Walmsley FRSA AGSM

Chief Culture Vulture

Arts & Culture Network

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