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Thursford ticket sales boost

PUBLISHED: 18:06 30 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:45 07 July 2010

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular is on target to equal last year's record-breaking 127,000 ticket sales with just one thousand seats remaining for this year's run of shows.

The Thursford Christmas Spectacular is on target to equal last year's record-breaking 127,000 ticket sales with just one thousand seats remaining for this year's run of shows.

As founder and director John Cushing is busy at work devising the content of this year's 33rd annual show - which is now billed as one of the largest Christmas Shows in Europe - the production team are currently recruiting the 56 singers needed for the run of 86 shows which opens on November 7 continuing until December 23. Dancers are recruited at separate auditions at the end of the summer.

The run of shows, staged at the Thursford Collection of steam and traction engines, is usually a sell-out and has become known as a Norfolk phenomenon that has put the village, near Fakenham, firmly on the entertainment map.

In an recruitment advertisement in the actor's trade journal, The Stage, it states that the producer's are looking for classical and music theatre singers with experience of choral, ensemble and solo work in concerts, operas and shows.

It points out that the ensemble of singers is used in many different combinations - from cathedral choral to show ensemble with solo step-outs in classical, music theatre, jazz and character styles.

The advertisement makes it clear that being in the shows is “hard work but very rewarding”.

In return those who are successful at auditions, there is an overall financial package, including subsistence, in excess of £6,500.

The advertisement tells potential cast members that, if successful, they will be involved in 10 weeks of “high-energy rehearsals and performances, playing to capacity audiences of well over 100,000 in total.”

John Cushing's personal assistant, Geraldine Rye, said that it is necessary for the casting director Peter Savidge to personally see the singers at auditions because he needs to see how they look on stage and how they are able to move on stage. The fact that they were in the show last year doesn't automatically mean they will be selected for this year's show. “We obviously need to get the best of the musicians that are available at the time,” said Ms Rye.

“We are delighted with the response to ticket sales and currently it looks as if we are going to equal last year's record-breaking sales of 127,000. We only have one thousand tickets left to sell during the summer so, at a time of economic downturn, we are very pleased about that,” said Ms Rye.

She added that if it is found that the demand is there consideration would be given to putting on additional shows.

The deadline for applications for the auditions, to be held on London in May, is April 18. People can also apply online at www.thursfordjobs.com


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