Director &Choreographer: Gary Lloyd
Reviewer: Callum Stott
If you are expecting a musical, telling the story of Michael Jackson’s life and rise to the top, this may not be the show for you, but if a pure homage to the music and energy of the man we called the ‘King of Pop’ is what you’re after, welcome to Thriller Live!
Featuring well-known hits like “Black or White”, “Billie Jean”, “Man in the Mirror” and of course “Thriller”, Thriller Live! very much sets out what it aims to achieve before the show begins, a tribute in music and dance to Michael Jackson and this in no way fails to deliver. The show really does well in not coming across like a tribute act in the way the actors and musicians interpret the songs and through the dance and also the visual effects, which were outstanding in some sequences, bringing back as it does the full dance sequences and musical experience, Michael was so known for.
The show itself does not have one distinct Michael Jackson, this was achieved with five excellent lead vocalists, J Rome, Alex Buchanan, Deborah Dada, Sean Christopher and Wayne Robinson. Covering the vocals of Michael’s long spanning music career is no easy feat, but each vocalist is very much as strong as the other and deliver vocal magic on some of Jackson’s most well-known hits and also some of his lesser known classics.
The dancers were generally very good, deliveringpure energy in their performances. This gives the show that added life needed to separate it from any of the Michael Jackson tribute acts seen in the past. Also the set used, although very simplistic, is utilised to its fullest and at no point do you feel the staging is minimalistic.
One of the highlights of the show has to be Alex Buchannan’s take on “She’s Out Of My Life”, which is in one word, beautiful. He very much encapsulates the emotion of the song and shows his incredible vocal range at its finest. The band themselves are a key highlight, creating each of the songs to truly match the original recording and were nothing but delight to listen to.
Now in its fifth year at the Lyric Theatre in London and recently becoming the 20th longest running musical in the west end, Thriller Live! shows no signs of coming to an end any time soon, the show is a gem in musical theatre. Again, although this isn’t a jukebox musical like Mamma Mia or Jersey Boys, this isn’t what it sets out to be, a musical celebration is what it claims and very much what it delivers.
Runs until 1st November.