'Bring them a smile' - Christmas Spectacular gives NHS staff free tickets

The Thursford Collection will be hosting the EDP Wedding Fair. Organising the event is (pictured) Ch

Charlie Cushing, general manager at Thursford. - Credit: IAN BURT

One of Norfolk’s biggest Christmas events is showing its appreciation for the efforts of NHS staff by dishing out 500 free tickets for its festive spectacular.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular has handed out 500 free tickets to NHS staff for a selection of shows as it says thank you to Norfolk’s health workers for all their help through the pandemic.

The staff were able to claim two free tickets for the November 9 show and the afternoon and evening of November 12.

Tickets were offered to Fakenham Medical Practice, Cromer Hospital, Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular will return this year after having to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular will return this year after having to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic. - Credit: Thursford

Charlie Cushing, general manager at Thursford, said: “This sector has been under immense pressure and worked so hard during the pandemic.

"We thought it would be nice to give them some escapism, the joy of Christmas and to bring them a smile and cheer in what has been a dark time for so many.”

He said this is the first time Thursford done anything like this, and if there is an opportunity later in the run they are thinking of doing it for care home workers, and other emergency services.

November 9 also marked the first show from Thursford in almost two years.

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The spectacular first opened in 1977 and has run every year except 2020 when it was forced to close its doors due to measures put in place.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular

Thursford Christmas Spectacular 2021 - Credit: Thursford Christmas Spectacular

The auditorium was opened up to guests and had a full house, which Mr Cushing said was an incredible moment.

“So far it has gone exceptionally well, it was like a dream to see a full house, the buzz and energy from that is unprecedented,” he said.

“People are really buzzing to be back in live theatre, to see our customers having that much joy. For us, this is our drug.”

Thursford Christmas Spectacular is back after the pandemic cancelled its 2020 show and halted all theatre performances.

Thursford Christmas Spectacular is back after the pandemic cancelled its 2020 show and halted all theatre performances. - Credit: Thursford Collection

It has also been a reunion for staff after 20 months apart, as many of them went to work in other sectors while theatre came to a halt as a result of the lockdowns.

Now the 31-year-old is hoping they can get through the season: “I say my prayers every day we can stay safe and well, and that we continue to operate and do what we love doing.”

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