Champagne flowed and a massive cake was cut last night as one of the West End’s longest running musicals celebrated reaching a major landmark.
Last weekend, on Saturday 4 February, after 3,358 performances at the Lyric Theatre, Thriller Live smashed the long-held record of Jesus Christ Superstar, which opened in 1972, to become the 15th Longest Running Musical in West End history.
The current cast and creative team also celebrated starting their 9th year in the West End at an aftershow party in the Lyric Theatre, where the production is also the longest running show in the theatre’s history.
Leading the cast on stage were Cleo Higgins, best known as the lead singer of 90s R’n’B/pop group Cleopatra, and Haydon Eshun, who had personal cause to celebrate as the evening’s show marked his 2,545th performance in Thriller Live, which is believed to be the longest run ever by a lead role in a West End musical. Fellow lead vocalist, Reece Bahia, 21, first saw the show aged 9, and decided there and then that he wanted to be in it! Last night some of the biggest cheers from the audience came after his spine-tingling rendition of She’s Out of My Life.
Also joining in the celebrations was original 2009 Thriller Live cast member Ben Forster, who went on to win Andrew Lloyd Webber’s TV hunt for a star to play Jesus in his arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar and is currently starring as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera.
Last night’s show also saw new effects added to the production, including spectaularly noisy, state-of-the-art turbo-charged smoke jets.
A concert spectacular created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, Thriller Live is currently the 7th longest running West End Musical still playing – but that will change again when Jersey Boys closes in March.