Choreography and Director: Gary Lloyd
Executive Director: Adrian Grant
Reviewer: Jessica Jane
Thriller Live has now entered its fifth year playing in the West End and it’s easy to understand why audiences still flock to the Lyric Theatre to see this show; a tribute to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson. There are not many people who can say that they dislike all of his music and there will always be one track in particular that gets your foot tapping; therefore you can expect to hear most of his famous songs, right from the very beginning in the Jackson 5 until the later years.
The talented cast sing and dance their way through the late pop stars back catalogue, re-creating and impersonating some of the famous routines, choreography and music videos. You see the songs split between a number of vocalists throughout the show, Alex Buchanan having a real resemblance in the sound of his voice to Jackson and also female vocalist Trenyce Cobbins who really does have some of the intonations and mannerisms spot on.
When the show reaches the later years and the ‘Smooth Criminal’ era, you can’t help but wait for certain moments, such as ‘the lean’ to be recreated and this is where the second half of the show does deliver! There are some impressive moments from the dance team at these points as well as the fantastic band, video screens and great lighting.
However, due to the very nature of the show being a tribute it can feel rather tired, repetitive and predictable. You can’t help wondering if we hadn’t lost Jackson when we did whether this show would have had as much success in the west end, probably not!
Michael Jackson fans will of course enjoy this celebration of his music, however a general theatre-goer may not feel their ticket is value for money if they are looking for a little more depth, backstory or insights into Michael Jackson’s life. Perhaps some of his die-hard fans will be expecting a breath taking, spectacular concert similar to those staged by the man himself, if this is the case, they may feel a little underwhelmed. This is a testament to Jackson as an entertainer however as the show races from song to song without much thought or reason you can’t help feeling that there is something missing and in comparison to some of its west end competitors Thriller Live really doesn’t match up.
Having said that, you can’t take away the fact that Thriller Live is an enjoyable evening which is guaranteed to have you digging out all your Michael Jackson albums and listening to them for the next week!