THURSFORD CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR
Venue: Thursford Green
Dates: November 6th. – December 23rd. 2019
Producer/Director: John Cushing
Reviewer: Mike Martin
A production of gargantuan proportions, the like of which I am sure cannot be seen anywhere else in the U.K. or probably even on the Continent. It is no exaggeration to state that this eye popping spectacle is magnificently unique and mere words cannot do it justice.
With over 130 performers on stage, including dozens of dancers, singers and musicians, where else can you see something on this scale? And all presented on a huge stage, the vista of which is so wide that one scarcely knows where to look; with so much happening at any one time…
The professional standards are faultless. Fabulous costumes which constantly change, wonderful routines… indeed it is a sheer joy to see so many dancers going through the paces of fantastically choreographed set pieces. A military sequence with chocolate box soldiers perfectly synchronized, a touching Charlie Chaplin tribute, an American Country hoedown, Irish step dancing, showgirls a’la Moulin Rouge; it is all there… and more!
Almost 60 trained singers, supported by a huge orchestra of top musicians… to be in the same room as they give their all is simply spell binding. The beauty of such an experience sends shivers down the spine… heavenly. An added touch, which works splendidly, comes in the form of so many of the players being personalities in their own right, adding comical touches amidst the wonder of it all.
The arrangements are superb, with soaring blended harmonies as they work the room, often emerging from every corner of the auditorium as they cover a huge range of material to please virtually all tastes.
So impressively staged too in a magical explosion of colour, imaginative lighting, glitter and visionary sets.
All of this is held together by the quality of terrific turns such as Cirque de Soleil’s Emelie & Royer with their breath taking skating and flying, and the acrobatic cyr wheel antics of Billy George. Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett proves that he is far more than a dummy manipulator. During several very welcome spots, his inventive presentation showcases a performer who oozes warmth and charm alongside a razor sharp wit. A class act indeed, and if anyone deserves T.V. stardom, he’s the man.
The creative team behind this amazing extravaganza are too huge to name individually here, sadly, but the ultimate credit must go to the CEO John Cushing who has been nursing this project for 43 years, watching it grow from a carol concert to this. He is justly proud, and his perpetual care shows in the aura of love and true Christmas spirit which it all conveys so perfectly.