The Thursford Christmas Spectacular And Enchanted Journey Of Light 2021!
All year round Thursford Steam Engine Museum is just that, a wonderful museum of steam engines which is well worth a visit but… Making like a caterpillar for 10 months of the year, come November, the butterfly of Thursford emerges from a chrysalis and it is now that she truly comes to full her full potential!
If you’ve not seen the Thursford Christmas Spectacular before then you’ve missed out for it truly lives up to its name. A spectacle or spectacular proportions with a variety of show of such excellence in standard you could be being entertained in the west end. What’s more is that as well as being completely slick, with the very best acts of wonderful singing and dancing, this is a variety show which harps back to an era gone by. This type of entertainment is not easy to find these days and yet it still holds such a significant want in the desire of the guests who watch the show. Night after night from mid November until the 23rd of December the show is packed to the rafters filling 1500 seats twice a day every day. People visit, and have visited for years, from all over the country. The Thursford Christmas Spectacular certainly needs to promotion to put bottoms on seats and yet I couldn’t not write about it.
For 2021, after a horrible break in their yearly shows which have been on their calendar every winter since 1977, they are back and bigger than ever before with a cast of 120 professionals singers, dancers, musicians and acts. Not a step out of place the performers are well used to the stages of the west end and come to Thursford because it is revered in a similar way. Variety may not be the most common form of entertainment these days but it certainly never goes out of fashion and my eldest son, nephew and I had the most brilliant visit this past weekend. I’d seen the spectacular before, the boys had not and what a year to come in on it for, truly better than ever and a real treat and feast for the eyes after such a tremendous hiatus to live entertainment.
The compere/comedian, an Armenian man of many talents (and I don’t use the word talent lightly – he was as mesmerising in his piano skill as he was funny in his delivery), held the arms around the Thursford Christmas Spectacular this year introducing, informing, entertaining and bringing the audience in to be involved too. Hats off to him, I’d have paid to see him and him alone.
Of course there are also the stalwarts, the wurlitzer (the boys were absolutely mesmerised) being the most loved I would judge by hearing the audience’s reaction.
We loved it, we devoured it, we felt like we’d stepped right into Christmas. Is it any wonder they welcome 50 coaches a day from all over the country to see this magnificent wonder!?
Last year, when the theatre went dark to help do its bit to fight the pandemic, Thursford brought us the Enchanted Journey of Light, wanting to gift some Christmas magic in some way, if not the way they had planned. They made the best of it, as we all did and actually, the offering was beautiful, so beautiful they have brought it back for 2021 and you can add this as an extra to your ticket or indeed visit for this alone. It incorporates their usual offering of Santa’s Magical Journey which still sees the big Father Christmas on a screen only as he is still ice-olating in the North Pole but you wouldn’t be disappointment by this. The journey of light more than makes up for it.
Last year it felt very special and important that we’d been thought about so well, the catering to our needs met in the best way they could. It was truly welcome then and I’m pleased to see it return for it wasn’t merely a consolation prize, as with everything they do at Thursford, they made their Enchated Journey of Light a real highlight and well enough for a stand alone indeed. Tickets are £18 for this experience, separately to your Christmas Spectacular show tickets and they do not include the price of the vintage fair ground rides which can be purchased individually when there.
The cost of visiting Thursford isn’t cheap – it couldn’t be with such an enormous cast and the maintenance of something on this scale would dictate that too. But, it is special and so worth visiting even if just once in your life (most people tend to go once and then make it a bit of a tradition by all accounts).The show isn’t really suitable for children under the age of 4 and I’d have to say I’d not take Raffie. He’s just turned 4 and a 3 hour show, though excellent in terms of value for your ticket price and wonderfully welcome as far as I’m concerned, would not hold his attention. I’d wondered if Jimmy would cope at 9 and a half, as it is lengthy, but he said it felt like it went by really quickly, as did my nephew Arthur who is one year older. Each child is different aren’t they, I took Florence to see Wicked in the west End when she was just 3 and she loved it, Jimmy and Raffie would have felt like it was the end of the world at the same age. This one is a special treat, it’s one they will remember forever so just make sure they’re the right age for it and you’ll be grand!
We loved it, well done Thursford on your comeback year absolutely being bigger and better than ever before!
We were gifted our tickets to the Thursford Christmas Spectacular and the Enchanted Journey of Light.