REVIEW: Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre

The popular live show has just celebrated becoming the 15th longest running West End show, having had 3,358 performances at the Lyric theatre and it seems that audiences still can’t get enough. 

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Celebrating Michael Jackson’s lasting legacy through his music, from his time as part of the Jackson 5 all the way through to becoming officially known as the ‘King of Pop’, Thriller live is a sharp and well executed production that gets you singing and dancing along whether you want to or not.

A lot of this is down to the fact the performers deliver infectious performances – both vocally and choreographically that reveals their enthusiasm and joy at being part of the show.

With five singers taking on some of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits, the show is able to switch moods and tempo with ease and style, for example the contrast between the performances of ‘Diana’ and ‘Man in the Mirror’ really showcase the different styles of music that Jackson was able to produce.

Most impressive vocally was Reece Bahia whose beautiful rendition of ‘She’s Out of My Life’ was excitedly received by audiences and showed confidence and his ability to get audiences to pay attention. Equally enjoyable to listen to was Cleo Higgins whose sexy, sassy and energetic rendition of ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ was completely unique take that really worked well.

Of course, being more of a concert than a musical the production had a definite feel of being an intimate concert with Michael Jackson, filled with all kind of visual effects including turbo-charged smoke jets. The overall result was that of a show filled with energy, creative choreography and sharpness that proved to be a definite crowd pleaser.

At times it felt like the pace dragged slightly between numbers, particularly during the first half which seems slightly bogged down with the number of songs it throws in,  but it soon turns that around in the second being filled with many of the huge numbers that the audience has been waiting for such as ‘Billy Jean’ and ‘Bad’.

The enduring popularity of Thriller Live is down to the consistent appeal of Michael Jackson’s music that has long lasted since his untimely death in 2009. But it is also in part down to the dynamic and boldness of the production as a whole that makes the audience believe that they are in fact watching Michael Jackson in front of them.

While there are some sections that feel slightly awkward – particularly getting the audience to participate (which seems pointless as they are guaranteed to join in asked to or not) and the conversational interludes don’t really add much to proceedings, it is a production that reveals why Michael Jackson is the undisputed King of Pop. An entertaining and energetic evening.

Thriller Live is booking at the Lyric Theatre until the 1st October 2017. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk

Rating: ❤❤❤❤