Thriller Live review - January 2015
Iconic music from an iconic man who's memory lives on in Thriller.Thriller Live! has been a smash hit at the Lyric Theatre in London's West End for 6 years now, as well as globally, that showcases Michael Jackson's 45 years of musical history. Now one of the West End’s longest running shows, Thriller undoubtedly continues to be a fun evening showcasing the late King of Pop’s acclaimed dance moves and celebrated pop tunes.
As it was my first time to see it, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect other than instantly having high expectations for something that pays tribute to the late and legendary Michael Jackson!
As the show began, the audience is taken back to the stars first beginnings with the Jackson 5, singing the popular songs "ABC," "I Want You Back," and "I'll Be there" to start kick off the show in style.
Despite the presence of a narrator who was presumably intended to pep the audience up, the first half of the show lacked drive in any story-line. However after a few musical numbers, one realizes that this show is more of a concert-based performance rather than a traditional West End production that has an emotional connection to audiences. Once that is understood, it is easier to enjoy the show for what it is; a tribute show.
Whilst the performers would try to get the audience up on their feet to dance and clap, for me it felt a bit forced. As those in the seats in front of me stood, I was forced to follow suit, rendering me somewhat irritated.
After the interval, the musical numbers did pick up and started to enjoy myself more. Numbers such as "Wanna Be Startin' Something," "Beat It," "The Way You Make Me Feel," "Smooth Criminal," "Dirty Diana," and "Earth Song" were well performed and seemed to resonate with the audience. Indeed, I myself felt so much special meaning in “Earth Song,” that I literally sobbed!
There were some fantastic performers in the show including lead vocalists Jesse Smith, who brought tears to some in "She's Out Of My Life," and David Jordan. Overall I was definitely intrigued by some of the talent, but at times it felt like there were too many or too little dancers/singers on stage and jilted flow of performance caused a bit of confusion, so much so that it was hard to keep up at times.
Overall, whilst the show is lacking in some areas, but having grown up with Michael Jackson’s music it is great to be taken back in time to mo-town, disco, pop, rock, and MJ's legendary, "thrilling" performances. Make no mistakes; this is a concert rather than a West End show, but it is still certainly a fun night out.
Happy 6th Birthday Thriller Live!
Guest Reviewer: Cher Ann Macuroy.T
22 January 2015, Lyric Theatre