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This year’s Thursford Christmas Spectacular postponed until 2021

PUBLISHED: 10:24 14 July 2020 | UPDATED: 16:59 14 July 2020

John Cushing, owner and director of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. Picture: Thursford Collection

John Cushing, owner and director of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular. Picture: Thursford Collection

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It is the highlight of the Christmas calendar for tens of thousands of people every year - but sadly the curtain will be falling on this year’s Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Showgirls in costume for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2019. Picture: THURSFORDShowgirls in costume for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2019. Picture: THURSFORD

Due to the continued uncertainty around when theatres can reopen fully and live performance can once again be staged, the annual event will be postponed until 2021.

John Cushing, the founder, producer and director of the show, said the decision had been a “heart-breaking” one for the entire team.

“We have watched and waited, hoping for news and direction as to the implications for mass gatherings and live performances, which, in these uncertain times, remain unclarified at this time,” he said.

“We have spent the last few months working tirelessly towards the Christmas Spectacular show, hoping to continue our normal year’s schedule through to the autumn.

A silk dancer rehearsing for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2019. Picture: THURSFORDA silk dancer rehearsing for the Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2019. Picture: THURSFORD

“However, following many hours discussing ways to achieve this, considering restrictions and safety measures, and with the concern for due care of our audience, cast and production team always being foremost in our minds, we felt that our only option was to postpone the show for this year.”

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The Thursford Christmas Spectacular has entertained more than six million visitors of all ages from across the globe since opening its first Christmas Eve performance over 40 years ago, becoming one of Europe’s biggest seasonal shows.

The award-winning production, which would normally run annually from early November, employs around 360 dancers, singers, musicians, variety acts, technicians, wardrobe teams, ushers, caterers and production staff each year.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2004 at the Thursford Collection Museum. The cast get into costume and perform their routine for the cameras. PHOTO: Matthew UsherThursford Christmas Spectacular 2004 at the Thursford Collection Museum. The cast get into costume and perform their routine for the cameras. PHOTO: Matthew Usher

This year will be the first since opening its doors in 1977, that the show has been unable to happen.

An enchanting new festive celebration will light up Thursford as an alternative Christmas treat though - a magical walk-through experience called Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light for all ages.

Mr Cushing added: “Whilst we allow the cancellation of the Christmas Spectacular this year to sink in, we are delighted to welcome in the Enchanted Journey of Light as a magical festive alternative.

“The beautiful collection of lanterns, will light up Thursford and brighten our hearts. We hope that visitors from far and wide will come and walk the Wonderful Trail with us and in doing so, continue to support the local community, hotels, B&Bs, rental properties and hospitality venues throughout Norfolk.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2004 at the Thursford Collection Museum. The cast get into costume and perform their routine for the cameras. PHOTO: Matthew UsherThursford Christmas Spectacular 2004 at the Thursford Collection Museum. The cast get into costume and perform their routine for the cameras. PHOTO: Matthew Usher

“Christmas is a special time of hope, joy, sharing and caring, and after a year filled with uncertainty and loss it is more important than ever that we celebrate all that we are thankful for. We look forward to seeing Christmas Spectacular audiences return in 2021 and hope that many will also visit our Enchanted Journey of Light this year.”

- Ticket holders for the 2020 production will be contacted by the bookings and reservations team or their point of purchase in the coming days, offering the option of an automatic seat transfer to a new date in 2021 or to arrange refund.


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