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Thriller Live 1000th Performance review at Lyric London

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When it opened in January 2009, Thriller Live, a musical entertainment celebrating the work of Michael Jackson, was already being overshadowed by the man himself. Jackson soon announced the This Is It tour, commencing with ten dates at the O2 Arena, and hinted that this would be his swansong. Four months after making this announcement, Jackson died and Thriller Live, far from fading into the background, became a point of focus for the legions of fans from around the world.

This week saw the 1000th performance of the show that was only supposed to run for four months, and it is good to see that it has lost neither its energy nor its sense of fun. Naturally, since Jackson’s passing, there is a slightly different dynamic to the proceedings but any moments of cloying sentimentality offered by lead vocalist and host Britt Quentin soon give way to the lively celebration.

Jackson’s back catalogue of hits spanning five decades is quite astounding when delivered with such passion. Alex Buchanan bristles with emotion during his rendition of She’s Out of My Life, but its numbers like Shake Your Body Down, Can You Feel It and Billie Jean that get the audience on its feet and dancing. For this special gala performance the regular cast is joined by Shaheen Jafargholi singing I’ll Be There and, much to the delight of the audience, pop band Blue singing Man in The Mirror.

Thriller Live is irrevocably and unapologetically a loud, brash juke-box show, teaming with frenetic choreography, dynamite sounds and particularly great lighting effects. What it may lack in narrative, it more than makes up for in hit songs.

Production Information

Lyric, London, May 26

Adrian Grant, Gary Lloyd
Gary Lloyd, John Maher
Flying Music, Adrian Grant
Trenyce Cobbins, Haydon Eshun, Alex Buchanan, John Moabi, Dwayne Wint, Michael Duke, Shaheen Jafargholi, Britt Quentin
Running time
2hrs 40mins

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