facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

Thriller Live

Published 22 January 2009

Remember the time Michael Jackson ruled the charts? Thriller Live, a new compilation show at the Lyric theatre, hopes to remind us of the 50-year-old King of Pop’s back catalogue.

La Toya has just been booted out of the Big Brother house, Janet is in town and now Thriller Live opens in the West End; January seems to be the month of the Jacksons, though the celebrity family has had nothing to do with the creation of this show about their most famous sibling, Michael. The concept for this concert-style entertainment was thought up by Adrian Grant, a writer, producer and Jacko fan who has had some contact with the man himself over the years.

The show he has devised – with direction and choreography from Gary Lloyd – is a Michael Jackson tribute in which a group of singers and dancers perform his greatest hits, from the early days of ABC and I Want You Back with the Jackson 5, through his major solo hits including Off The Wall, Dangerous and Beat It, to his later work like Earth Song (though unfortunately without a recreation of Jarvis Cocker’s own tribute at the 1996 Brits) and Heal The World.

It is not a musical – there is no narrative, only brief interludes in which the members of the cast recount some of Jackson’s records and achievements. And the singers do not attempt to play Jackson and his brothers; they are introduced as themselves and give a flavour of the music and the man, rather than an exact impersonation. The only attempt at recreating his image comes from dancer Ricko Baird, who, dressed in a Jacko-style white suit and hat, gives us a taster of his signature moonwalking.

Of the singers, young Kieran Alleyne, a West End newcomer, leads the vocals on Jackson’s early hits with a natural voice, a wide smile and a confident enthusiasm. It serves to remind us of the fresh-faced, innocent youth of the boy who sang Music And Me and I Want You Back, not to mention the strangely poignant song about a rat, Ben.

Ashton Russell takes us through Jackson’s teenage years, before a trio of older male singers perform much of the later back catalogue. But a highlight is Denise Pearson, a former member of the UK’s version of the Jacksons, brother and sister band Five Star, whose 1980s heyday coincided with Jackson’s height of fame. Looking remarkably on form for someone whose band celebrated its 25th anniversary last year, Pearson sings many of Jackson’s songs, including I’ll Be There and Rock With You.

Of course the biggest hits of all are saved for the obligatory encore – Billie Jean, Bad, and a version of his werewolf-inspired video for Thriller. Can You Feel It?, the singers ask at one point during the show.  It is a shame that the King of Pop, who has not toured since 1997, is not available to ask us that himself.  I blame it on the boogie.

CB

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.