Thursford Christmas Spectacular, was, well, spectacular!
My fears of it being a cringey variety show with cheap glitzy costumes and embarrassing comedians with half hearted panto style audience participation were unfounded. The glitz was there. The comedians were there. Even a gymnast who could balance in unlikely positions on a loose rope was there. The variety was there too but the quality of music and dance, singing, reading and performance was of a quality which couldn’t but impress. What absorbed my attention was the scale of the thing, the enormity of the width of the stage which seemed to stretch into infinity, or at least into a merry-go-round in one direction and an army of illuminated snowmen in the other. There was tap and ballet, drunken sailors doing reels, Spanish frilly clad girls with perfectly synchronised fan snapping; orchestral cellists jumping up and down while the sousaphonist chased the xylophonist. We were in the middle of a cathedral one minute singing with the choristers, and the next getting off a train with Joseph as he planned his letter of complaint about the accommodation to Corinthians Travel Co. It was all beautiful and wonderful, magical and like nothing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot! Your eyes just didn’t quite know where to rest. We even had a shout from the front thanks to Uppingham boy Robert Wilkes strutting his stuff on stage in probably twenty different costumes as a tenor swing. Well done Robert, I was watching you! But please tell them where Rutland is!
The show ended with You’ll Never Walk Alone, and white doves flying low across the audience to the dovecote nestling somewhere over by the snowmen, and tears streaming down a few faces. Snowflakes and white balloons fell from the sky in a sort of I-wish-it-was Christmas-Eve-already sort of way.
Our coach driver Vince (alias Elvince because of sideline in doing Elvis impersonations – shall we book him for a hoot?) delivered us all happily home and I finally fell into bed about 1.20am. Thanks to everyone for not being late at the bus stops, for The Gate Inn, Middleton near Kings Lynn for a huge welcoming fabulous afternoon tea on the way down – so much so that not everyone managed all of their midnight feast on the way home. And no-one claimed the Red Hat raffle prize. I wonder who did have the ticket with the typing error where I had pressed s instead of w on “delicious white chocolate…”. I still have the prize if you want to claim it.
It was a winning formula and one I think worth repeating, perhaps in two years time? What do you all think?