THRILLER Live!

Lyric Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue
London, W1D 7ES
 
Box Office: 0844 482 9674
http://thrillerlive.com/west-end

Review by Geoff Billingsley

 

June 25th, 2009 was the sad day that Michael Jackson took his leave of us. Later that same year, THRILLER Live opened at the Lyric Theatre and it's been there ever since. It's longevity testament to Jackson and his incredible talent. Whatever your opinion of the man himself, you can't take anything away from him. His personal awards are too many to list here and at last years figures he had sold 750 million records while Thriller remains the world's best-selling album today.

 

15 months ago I reviewed Thriller for these pages and I recall enthusing not only about the leading singers in the show, but the amazing energy of the dancers. The production has had a major makeover and now opens up like a Las Vegas floor show. The show covers the early years as Daniel Odejinmi performs "I'll Be There", "I Want You Back" and "ABC" - all instantly recognisable and performed with a cheeky confidence. The "I Want You Back" intro still sends a shiver down my spine as it has done since 1970, when it was first released.

 

While last year Thriller Live boasted Cleo Higgins as one of the lead vocalists, we've gone one step better this time with Trenyce Cobbins.  Her voice is just amazing, sounding so close to MJ's own voice, it's uncanny. Trenyce came to prominence via American Idol, eventually finishing 5th. We still have Haydon Eshun and John Moabi doing a great job as co-hosts but another sensational discovery is young Alex Buchanan. Manchester born Buchanan has had no formal training in any area of performance, but to see him you wouldn't know it. He can get Jackson's voice spot on and rightly brought the house down with his rendition of "She's Out Of My Life".

 

Other songs from Jackson's catalogue include "Dangerous", "Off The Wall", "Rock With You", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" & "They Don't Care About Us".  All performed by the company and coupled with dazzling new special effects, this show will knock your socks clean off!  It all goes to underline just how significant Michael Jackson was and thanks to Director Gary Lloyd we can appreciate the true genius that Jackson became with this truly multi-talented cast.  Jackson was without doubt one of the most fascinating and unique talents ever to walk this earth. Talking of our planet, Earth Song is also featured to remind us of his concerns for the environment. Among so many others also included are "Dangerous", Rock With You", "Can You Feel It", "Man In The Mirror", "Billie Jean" & "BAD".

 

There's nothing specific about Jackson's life here, that would probably need another whole show, but this dynamite production features on his music and it literally overflows...it's incredible. Those energy levels were again hugely impressive and Helen Parsons stands out as one of the dancers.

 

This is indeed a "Thriller" and you should "Beat It" to the Lyric soon.

 

There should be a notice printed on the Thriller LIVE tickets -

HEALTH WARNING - "SHOW STARTS AT 7:30pm - BY 8pm YOU'LL BE EXHAUSTED"!