Thriller Live has just broken a major West End box office record – 15th longest running musical in the West End! Ever! It is quite an achievement. And, Michael Jackson’s extraordinary musical legacy is in very good hands with this first rate cast.
Michael Jackson’s influence on music is undeniable. But to fully appreciate the extraordinary depth of his talent, and the scope of his career, it does require a moment to contemplate… or perhaps you could just visit The Lyric Theatre in London’s West End: because the stage literally comes to life from the moment the curtain rises on Thriller Live.
Thriller Live is not a musical, not even a tribute, it is a musical juggernaut that cannot help but affect the audience; the crowd cheering; everyone on their feet; undivided attention and sheer joy.
The great achievement of Thriller Live is not just the theatrical way in which Michael Jackson’s music milestones are re-created live onstage. The performance moves through the different segments of his long career, with the help of nifty costuming (Shooting Flowers) and impressive set design, video content (Jonathon Park, Colin Rozee) and choreography by Gary Lloyd that could easily make your head spin. But the way in which the talented cast members actually become the stars of the show is the strength of this piece. It would be almost inevitable to shrink behind the large shadow cast by Michael Jackson’s talent, but not in Thriller Live.
Cleo Higgins and Haydon Eshun revel in their roles as lead singers bringing their own vocal prowess to well-known tracks. They command the stage and elevate the evening, sending it way beyond ‘tribute show’ with their own star power. Dajiow, as Michael Jackson, seems to shadow dance with the man himself in an articulate performance. J. Brock and Reece Bahia fill out the lead vocalist roles with heart-felt performances.
I doubt there is a more talented cast anywhere in the West End. To give them the recognition they deserve I’ll list all of the extensive team:
Angelica Allen, J Brock, Dajiow, Haydon Eshun, Alex Ko, John Moabi, Stefan Sinclair, Cordell Mostellar, Reece Bahia, Tyrone Henry, Ione Townsend, Aisling Duffy, Florivaldo Mossi, Leslie Bowman, Myron Birch, Ebony Clarke, Ella Coghill, Jamal Crawford, Victoria Lamm, Arnold Mabhena, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Helen Parsons, Jacinta Seivers, Steven Thompson, Tom Remaili, Sophie Usher, Aled Arhyel Charles, Remi Gooding, Zuriel Kabasomi-Williams, Zayn Johnson & Daniel Odejinmi.
John Maher, and his band, did justice to the original arrangements and provided ample backbone. The playing was dynamic and fluid. While the overall sound (Design by Chris Whybrow) seemed a little overly compressed, the excitement in the recreations of the iconic hits gave plenty for the audience to enjoy and respond to.
Thriller Live is not just for lovers of Michael Jackson and his music, it is for all music lovers looking for an exciting, theatrical treat.