Nearly 100,000 tickets already sold for the Thursford Spectacular
- Credit: Ian Burt
Two extra shows have been added to this year's Thursford Christmas spectacular to meet demand- 10 months before it's due to start.
Norfolk's biggest musical extravaganza is celebrating its 41st year and director and producer John Cushing said about 100,000 tickets have already sold for this year's show.
Thousands will travel to the tiny village, near Fakenham, to see the famous show, with its three hours of non-stop singing, dancing, music, humour and variety.
Mr Cushing said: 'It's the best year for forward bookings ever. Our new online booking system went live on December 19 and within five days about 31,000 seats were sold. It's like a pop concert - Coldplay would struggle to beat that.
'We have now sold nearly 100,000 seats, which is a record for the end of January and well ahead of most years. We feel very humble, after all the 2017 show is still a blank sheet of paper, although all the key personnel have been engaged. We have put on two extra shows in the afternoons to meet demand.
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'In four weeks' time I will have to start writing the show. That will mean three months of solid work in a room barely big enough to throw a cat in.'
The show has a cast of 130 professional singers, dancers and musicians who collaborate on about 80 different pieces.
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Mr Cushing added: 'We normally have about 1,300 people apply for single parts, and we audition about 370. Last year 500 dancers applied, and we only needed 23.
'Each year about 175,000 people attend, which includes about 65,000 to Santa's Magical Journey. Financially, last year was record-breaking.'
The show benefits the local economy with some B&Bs in the area already booked for the duration of the event.
Mr Cushing added: 'Only about 30,000 people come to the show from East Anglia, with the rest from out of the region, and about half the people stay overnight in the county.'
The Christmas Spectacular takes place at the Thursford Collection. 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 seeing the show.
The spectacular is on from November 8 to December 23, at 2pm and 7pm. Bookings can be made online at www.thursford.com/christmas-spectacular or call 01328 878477.