Thriller Live is much more than just a show or a West-end musical, it’s a two-hour tribute the man, the legend, that was Michael Jackson – the undisputed king of pop
Originally debuted in 2006, the Thriller Live show moved into the West End after highly-praised UK and European tours and has carried on with a strong performance ever since. Thriller Live is essentially a concert carefully crafted to pay homage to Michael Jackson’s music and his famously legendary live performances. Thusly based on a musical career which essentially spanned 40 years (including his time in the Jackson 5) the show has plenty of material to work with and in Black or White and colour, it’s a thrilling live song and dance interpretation of all his music. So you can easily expect all your favourite Michael Jackson songs including the likes of ABC, off the Way, Smooth Criminal, Dirty Diana, Thriller and Billie Jean.
With that in mind, you’d certainly be right to assume that the show would start at the beginning with Michael Jackson’s time as part of the Jackson 5 and that’s exactly what it does, starting with ABC and quickly moving on to the other classics.
Obviously stretching across the decades, the lead singers/actors/dancers change as the show progresses, each lending their own touch to the vocalisation of the hits. Kieran Alleyne plays Jackson in his Jackson 5 years when big afros were the name of the game, he’s followed closely by Ben Foster, John Moabi and Roger Wright who cover the years that follow and finished by Ricko Baird, who trained with Jackson before his death and has mastered his Moonwalk glide, body shuffles, spins and dance routines to perfection. In a white suit, he is an uncanny reincarnation of the superstar. Each of the cast members performs marvellously, doing justice to the songs and their original creator.
Effects from digitised screens, lighting and a large disco ball all add to the atmosphere of the show and a live band is on hand to support the dancers and singers, making the atmosphere almost electric and nearly as good as a proper Jackson concert. Energetic performances from everyone involved adds to the authenticity and the thrills of the experience.
Thriller Live takes a different spin on the average musical based on a band or musical artist. Where shows like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Mamma Mia!’ turned the hits of the artists into an original narrative, Thriller Live instead simply presents Michael Jackson’s songs in the form of a concert which spans the decades of his life and career. It is not such a telling of the story, but more a tribute to the songs and the magic behind them. The directors may well have veered away from the storyline of Jackson’s life for good reason and the decision to focus on the music was certainly a sensible one.
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Published: 12/09/2011 08:44:50