Thriller Live is a production exploding with energy, dynamic movement and excellent vocals creating an impressive tribute to the late legend Michael Jackson.
Michael Jackson was crowned the king of pop for his outstanding diverse music and ability to produce such theatrical performances, and Thriller Live captures that. Creating the essence of a concert, the stage is lit with techno style screens, whether it is iconic Michael Jackson style video clips or flashing lights, the staging expressively bringing the whole production to life.
There is no need to bring your theatre etiquette to Thriller Live as the concert-style ambience sets the tone for the audience to clap, sing and become immersed in the Michael Jackson frenzy. There is a reason Thriller Live does so well on the West End because it allows people to enjoy highly exceptional talent in an exuberant performance whilst also being encouraged to get out of their seats and enjoy themselves. The cast gets the entire audience involved in Shake Your Body, creating a vibrant atmosphere set to keep the audience’s energy high until the end of the show.
With an explosive opening, the mash-up of classics provide the audience with an electric glimpse into what is to come. Costumes are used to take us through the Michael Jackson era from his early Motown days to the iconic Thriller album.
The singers proved outstandingly talented, as they each master a different quality to Jackson’s voice. Vocalist Rory Taylor gives a passionate and vocally stunning performance of Man in the Mirror. Adriana Louise is compelling as the female lead vocalist, her performance is radiant, giving a smooth yet feisty tone to each number, particularly in her harmonies in They Don’t Care About Us. Britt Quentin is not only a remarkable vocalist but his confidence and flair provides a striking performance and does a phenomenal job keeping the audience engaged.
Despite the Jackson 5 songs being sung superbly, after seeing the show a few years ago it is a shame for the UK tour to have ditched the kids who I felt brought a lot of charisma to the stage, the true sense of The Jackson 5 was portrayed when they used utterly talented children to play young Michael.
Eddy Lima effortlessly inhabits the style of Jackson in his movement as his sharpness echoes Jackson’s slick style, however, I don’t think he was singing live which is a shame since the rest of the cast bring a strong vocal performance. The ensemble are tight and perform with energy and the overall strength of the choreography is powerful and performed with impact. The dancers are fierce which is really shown in their freestyle moments of the show as each dancer’s personality and style is displayed with character and sass.
It’s a high-powered performance interjected with sentimental moments such as the more emotionally charged numbers such as Earth Song, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You and She’s Out Of My Life. However the finale is inevitably the highlight of the production, the cast had the whole audience up on their feet as they performed Jackson’s most well-known hits such as Thriller, Billie Jean and Black or White.
Thriller Live has the intimacy of a musical but the atmosphere of a Michael Jackson concert, each number is animated and performed with intensity to emulate the commanding stage presence of Jackson himself. It’s a brilliant night out that is guaranteed to beat away the winter blues.
Thriller is on at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until the 24th of February and tickets can be found here.