The cast of this year’s Thursford Christmas Spectacular has celebrated Diwali with a Bollywood-inspired evening of dancing, music and food.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular, back for its 46th year, has been directed by John Cushing since 1977.

Two members of this year’s cast are of Indian heritage, and the pair celebrated the Hindu Festival of Lights by welcoming others to learn more about their celebrations.

With a one-show day, cast were invited to join in on the evening’s event, starting with an introduction to Diwali followed by a Puja Ceremony and the placing of candles in a Rangoli.

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Fakenham & Wells Times: The Thursford Christmas Spectacular The Thursford Christmas Spectacular (Image: Thursford Collection)

The cast also took the time to learn traditional Bollywood dancing in preparation for the evening, before performing a routine all together.

After releasing biodegradable sky lanterns into the sky over the fields of Thursford’s Enchanted Journey of Light, Indian snacks and home-made sweets were served, signalling the end to a magical evening.

Fakenham & Wells Times: John Cushing, director and producer of the Thursford Christmas SpectacularJohn Cushing, director and producer of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular (Image: Albanpix)

John Cushing, CEO, director, and producer at Thursford, said: “We have such a diverse cast on stage, and it’s wonderful to see everyone coming together to learn about different cultures and religions.

"Diwali is all about the festival of light, and Thursford has provided the perfect backdrop for our cast to celebrate and bring awareness to this amazing event.”

Aleyna Mohanraj, second Mezzo-Soprano in this year’s cast of singers, said: “As an Indian, I feel so grateful to everyone at Thursford for allowing me to share my culture with them.

"Diwali is about light overcoming darkness and knowledge overcoming ignorance - so in many ways it was very special to see so many people embrace Diwali with their whole hearts and souls. Embracing different cultures and sharing our own is truly what the world needs right now and I’m so happy that Thursford is leading the way in this regard.”

Hari Chandresh, second tenor in this year’s cast of singers, said: “I feel incredibly grateful that we were able to celebrate Diwali at Thursford this year.

"It was my first Diwali away from home and it was so lovely to be surrounded by such amazing people who were so willing to participate in our Indian culture. Thursford also marks my professional theatre debut and I am so grateful to have started my career off with a BANG this winter in such an open, diverse environment.”

Fakenham & Wells Times: The cast of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular celebrating DiwaliThe cast of the Thursford Christmas Spectacular celebrating Diwali (Image: Thursford)

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular has a cast of over 150 singers, dancers, orchestra, and speciality acts.

The show opened on November 8 and continues until December 23. Book tickets now at or call 01328 878477.