Prior to his untimely and tragic death in 2009 as he was on the brink of a sell out, multi date tour at London’s O2, Michael Jackson had been the undisputed King of Pop. Following his debut success as part of the Jackson 5 with his brothers in the 1970s , Jacksons career spanned four decades, produced countless hit songs, a feature length film and inspired many a future performers to follow in his moonwalk *ahem* footsteps.
as a musical was first conceived in 2005 just four years before Jackson passed away and has since been seen by four of Jackson’s brothers, as well as the thousands of fans who have flocked to productions around the world and at the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on the West End in London.The first thing to note about Thriller Live is that this is in no means a Michael Jackson tribute act. I’ve seen tribute acts before and as much as they were done out of respect of the artist… They were bloody terrible. Thriller Live is a celebration of those years, the many hit songs and takes its audience on a journey through the musical highlights of his career beginning in the early days of Blame it on the Boogie and I Want You Back all the way through to the songs which secured his place in the music Hall of Fame such as Smooth Criminal, Earth Song and of course, Thriller.Set against a simple stage set of double staircase and a raised platform and using digital screens sparingly to create backdrops for the throughout, the show features no gimmicks, bells or whistles and relies solely on an incredible back catalogue.
With the vocal talents of Angelica Allen and Rory Taylor (runner-up in TV talent show Superstar) showcasing their powerhouse, white sock blowing off vocals and Shaquille Maerice Hemmans and Michael Kavuma bringing in the soul sound, the four successfully deliver breathtaking performances without being karaoke in any way. They do Michael proud in their delivery of the songs loved by more than just a generation. Personal highlights for me are She’s Out of my Life, Dirty Diana, Earth Song & They Don’t Really Care About Us.
The Michael Jackson magic is delivered in the form of Sean Christopher (who has toured with Thriller Live for three years). He moonwalks his way onto the stage with a slide of hand, a sequinned glove, a crotch grab and a tilt of the trilby and leaves the audience captivated with his natural stage presence.
When Sean Christopher dons the infamous Jacko costumes and for a second you could be forgiven for thinking you’re witnessing the King of Pop where he was born to perform.
With over 30 songs making it into the set list and Jacksons iconic choreography coming to life on stage (complete with sequins and white socks a plenty) Thriller Live is a nostalgic look back at the career of a megastar who paved the way for the many pop acts around today. Jacksons legacy will live on through the show on UK tour at the Regent until 13th February and in theatres across the UK until July 2016.