Pro’s: It’s a show dedicated to Michael Jackson’s music. And his music is awesome.
Con’s: The musical ignores the turbulent life of the man behind the beats.
Since January 2009 Thriller Live has been playing at the Lyric Theatre in the West End. Every night since then, the tribute show to the King of Pop has awakened a Michael Jackson fan in even the most cynical audience members, causing them to dance, sway or clap in their seats to the beats. To celebrate the 4,000 performance, the team hosted a special Gala performance in support of the Prince’s Trust, with special guest for one night only, Peter Andre, and Everything Theatre was invited along to review the show for the very first time.
It’s certainly a crowd-pleaser. It’s flashy, glittering and colourful, and the talented and pleasingly diverse cast of vocalists and dancers bring a beaming energy to every high-powered song, together with brilliant choreography and an enviable array of sparkling outfits. They are accompanied by a somewhat retro set, in which busy video and lighting adds to the sense of overwhelming power and intensity.
The King of Pop’s turbulent life would make for a meaty story, but this show focuses purely on his music. For 2 hours and 40 minutes, we are treated to some of his greatest hits – from Dangerous to Black or White, Billie Jean and of course, Thriller. For me, this is where the show misses a trick – the avoidance of any aspect of Michael Jackson’s actual life (apart from a small sequence about his first performance, together with his brothers, at age 11) makes the show feel rather shallow, and the unbroken string of hits felt somewhat relentless.
If you love Michael Jackson’s music and want a fun night out (and don’t mind the miserable minute in which the audience is invited to participate), this is the show for you. And if you don’t love his music, the show might just convince you to think otherwise.
Directed and choreographed: Gary Lloyd
Original Concept and Executive Director: Adrian Grant
Produced by: Paul Walden and Derek Nicol
Music by: Michael Jackson
Booking link: https://www.nimaxtheatres.com/shows/thriller-live/
Currently Booking Until: 7th April 2019