Eight years ago last month, Thriller Live opened in London’s West End, celebrating the music of the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. Less than six months later, the man himself sadly died, making Thriller Live a celebration concert of his life as well as his music.
It is undeniably a brilliant dance show with a talented cast of performers backflipping around the stage. There is a core set of singers including 90’s child pop star Cleo Higgins (of Cleopatra fame) who looks and sounds fierce, belting out (sometimes questionably if live) Michael Jackson’s classic songs like Man In The Mirror, Blame It On The Boogie and of course, Thriller.
It isn’t a bad show. Whilst Thriller Live may not be a West End Musical, it certainly does what it says on the tin. Holiday makers with limited English skills and hardcore fans of Michael Jackson’s music won’t be disappointed with this show. It’s got all the hits and is a huge production of flashing lights and pyrotechnics. At two hours thirty minutes it is a little long for a tribute concert and although the songs were well mixed together, there were some I didn’t know as well as others that could have been cut to ensure an explosive performance of hit after hit.
What was sad to see was that despite the show supposedly being a celebration of Thriller Live becoming the 15th longest running West End show, the theatre felt more like a closing down sale. Merchandise stands looked half empty and show posters seemed to be stuck over frames in the corridors instead of placed properly inside. It all felt a bit unloved.
Thriller Live will always divide audiences because it is in the West End and isn’t a ‘proper’ musical but it has stood the test of time and if you don’t like it then you’ll have to just beat it.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Thriller Live is currently booking at the Lyric Theatre until 1 October 2017. Book tickets