Pros: This is a feel good party of a show which, so long as you like Michael Jackson’s songs, you will love.
Cons: It is not a musical so don’t expect it to be such – if you want a story or a narrative, this is not the one for you.
More of a tribute to and celebration of Michael Jackson, there are many moments where, if you closed your eyes, it could be Michael Jackson singing. There are also times when “Michael” comes on stage in his Smooth Criminal outfit and produces such accurate dance moves that again, you could be forgiven for thinking it was him.
There were five unbelievably talented and charismatic singers taking on the lead vocals. With a nod to Black or White and Michael Jackson’s feelings about diversity, there were black, white, male and female singers which at first seemed odd – no “main Michael” – but I soon forgot as their talent shone through. There are of course a lot of upbeat songs allowing the dancers to show off their skills and acrobatics all of which were greeted with well-deserved whoops and cheers from the audience. However the standout numbers were the ballads and solos which there could have been more of. Not one of the singers had a bad moment and on many occasions, I was left with goosebumps. Many of the numbers sung by our compere for the evening, Britt Quentin, where particularly good – his voice is quite beautiful to listen to. I would happily listen to him singing Man in the Mirror on repeat for the rest of my life.
Zoe Birkett’s singing was absolutely faultless to the point that I even, for just a second, thought she was lip syncing (don’t worry, she wasn’t!). She took on many of Michael Jackson’s characteristics and mannerisms as well as emulating his voice. She also kept up with the energetic dancers despite extremely tight costumes and killer heels. She really knows how to work the stage and it was hard to take your eyes off of her. It is quite clear to see why she has been so successful on stage since leaving Pop Idol over 10 years ago.
One to watch is certainly one of the five boys playing young Michael Jackson, Eshan Gopal. He could not have been older then 9 or 10 and yet he knows how to hold an audience. Dancing alongside the outstanding David Jordan and showing off some of Michael Jackson’s iconic moves and style, he seemed much older than his years while his voice is already brilliant. I can only imagine what it will be like as he matures and develops. I have no doubt we will see more of him in the coming years.
I have seen many reviews in the past five years which sniff at the lack of a story, complain about the over the top costumes or moan about the shrine-like production to Michael Jackson that has been created. However, once you get over the fact that there is no narrative other than the chronology of the songs, the rest just adds to it. It cannot be denied that this is an extraordinary show whether you are a fan of Michael Jackson’s or not. The cast’s energy is infectious. Celebrating the dancing and music of a great entertainer, this is a dazzling two hours of endless enjoyment.
Creator: Adrian Grant
Director and Choreographer: Gary Lloyd
Box Office: 0844 412 4661
Booking Link: http://thrillerlive.com/
Booking Until: 28th September 2014