This special 4,000th performance in aid of The Prince’s Trust gave the audience a night to remember thanks to the energy of the cast and a spot on performance from Peter Andre.
I have to admit this is a show that really does begin to grow on you the more times you see it. This is partly down to the sheer energy and enthusiasm that all of the cast put into what they do but also down to the sharply executed choreography that brings to life what it would have been like watching one of Michael Jackson’s concerts.
Of course, perhaps the concert style of the show has become slightly tired and is in need of a revamp but on this 4000th gala performance it genuinely felt like it was opening in London for the first time and this soon had an effect on the audience as they became more involved with the show.
Directed and choreographed by Gary Lloyd, Thriller Live is certainly a treat for Michael Jackson fans as it chronologically takes audiences through the many highlights of his career and giving his music new life.
This is helped by some brilliantly electrifying performances from the cast which includes Kieran Alleyne, Vivienne Ekwulugo, Haydon Eshun and for one night only Peter Andre. Highlights included Vivienne Ekwulugo’s sassy rendition of ‘P.Y.T’, lively performances of ‘ABC’ and ‘Rockin’ Robin’ and a brilliantly haunting version of ‘Earth Song’.
Peter Andre fitted in perfectly with the rest of the cast during the evening, with his heartfelt rendition of ‘Man in the Mirror’ while his version of ‘Rock With You’ was suitably sexy and cool to watch. Meanwhile, Russell Kane and Jon Culshaw kept the evening lively as comperes to help keep the show moving smoothly.
The performances were highlighted to great effect with the help of some wonderful video screens that were just as mesmerising as the dancing, enhancing each sequence and enhancing the concert vibe of the show.
Perhaps some of the transitions between songs could have been slightly smoother and the show does begin to run out of steam towards the end, leading to questions as to whether the reprises of ‘Smooth Criminal’ and ‘Thriller or combining ‘Earth Song’ with ‘They Don’t Care About Us’ are really necessary (particularly when the songs have already been heard in their entirety elsewhere in the show).
But you can not deny the infectious spirit of Thriller Live that will have you tapping your toes along whether you want to or not. It isn’t a tribute show but rather a celebration of all that Michael Jackson achieved in his career and given the continuing fascination with the singer, Thriller Live is probably set to stay in the West End for a few years yet.
By Emma Clarendon
Thriller Live continues to play at the Lyric Theatre. To book tickets click here or visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, See Tickets, Encore Tickets, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com and From the Box Office.