Tag Archives: Gary Lloyd

Thriller Live

Thriller Live


Lyric Theatre

Thriller Live

Thriller Live

Lyric Theatre

Reviewed – 10th December 2019



“an energetic and spectacular tribute to one of the most influential artists who has ever lived”


Thriller Live first opened at the Lyric Theatre in London in 2009 and since then has had over 4,000 performances and is soon to be the 11th longest running musical in the West End. Celebrating the life and legacy of Michael Jackson, Thriller Live, produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol, takes its audience on a journey through the King of Pop’s greatest hits from his early life in the Jackson 5 to his dizzying success with the albums Bad and Thriller.

The show has little plot other than a vague chronology of Jackson’s life and musical career. The incredibly cute Ishaan Raithatha plays a young Michael Jackson and leads on ABC and I Want You Back while Florivaldo Mossi does an excellent job of playing the King of Pop at the height of his career. With Mossi’s effortless flair, it’s easy to forget that you are not actually watching MJ himself. In Billie Jean, Mossi takes to the stage alone and dominates the space with his incredible imitation of Jackson’s dancing. The choreography (Gary Lloyd) is incredible throughout the show and particularly notable during Dangerous, Dirty Diana and Smooth Criminal.

For a special two-week run this Christmas, singer Peter Andre also joins the cast. There is great excitement for Andre amongst the crowd and any appearance of his on-stage garners whoops and cheers. Andre did well to keep up with the King of Pop’s signature moves, but his voice is unfortunately not nearly as strong as the other singers. The strongest vocalist is Vivienne Ekwulugo who leads a beautiful rendition of Who’s Loving You.

Haydon Eshun and John Moabi do well to host the show though there is no one person who is particularly good at getting the audience going. Any enthusiasm from the crowd is the result of favourite songs rather than engaging audience participation. During Shake Your Body, the cast attempt to start a sing along but it is far too early in the show for the audience to really be warmed up enough. By the finale, however, the audience are far more receptive.

The set (Johnathan Park) consists of several screens one of which opens at the back of the stage to create an entrance and from behind which the band plays. Two tall light-up staircases sit either side and lead up to a walkway where the cast dance and in Smooth Criminal show off Jackson’s famous anti-gravity lean. There is another large screen that hangs above the stage and displays different images depending on the song. Bursts of light and flashing effects (Nigel Catmur) are also frequently used to enhance crescendo moments.

There are few props, but these are barely necessary as the dancing and lights are engaging enough. During Smooth Criminal and Dirty Diana in the second half, two sofas are wheeled around to add variety to the dancing. There is also some flag waving at the end of Can You Feel It and fake drums to match the banging in They Don’t Care About Us. The costumes (Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum) are suitably Jackson-esque with lots of sparkles and iconic outfits such as the Smooth Criminal white suit and the red Thriller jacket.

Michael Jackson fan or not, it is hard to not find yourself bopping along in your seat or, when encouraged, to stand to your feet and sing along. Though some more information on Jackson’s life would have been appreciated, Thriller Live is an energetic and spectacular tribute to one of the most influential artists who has ever lived.


Reviewed by Flora Doble

Photography by Betty Zapata


Thriller Live

Lyric Theatre until 26th April


Last ten shows reviewed by Flora:
Torch Song | ★★★★★ | The Turbine Theatre | September 2019
Art Heist | ★★★½ | New Diorama Theatre | October 2019
Children Of The Quorn | ★★★★★ | Pleasance Theatre | October 2019
Last Orders | ★★★ | Old Red Lion Theatre | October 2019
Smashing It! | ★★ | Bread & Roses Theatre | October 2019
Ugly | ★★★½ | Tristan Bates Theatre | October 2019
Don’t Frighten The Straights | ★★★ | King’s Head Theatre | November 2019
Escape From Planet Trash | ★★★ | Pleasance Theatre | November 2019
Sydney & The Old Girl | ★★★★ | Park Theatre | November 2019
All I Want For Christmas Is Attention | ★★★★★ | o2 Forum Kentish Town | December 2019


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Purple Rain

Purple Rain is a spectacular new theatrical event celebrating the music of one of the world’s greatest pop artists, Prince. Directed by Gary Lloyd, director of hit production Thriller Live, Purple Rain will feature stunning choreography and will be an exhilarating journey through Prince’s entire career. Presented by West End producers, Adam Spiegel and Mark Goucher, with Claire-Bridget Kenwright, Purple Rain will tour the UK from February 2018.

Prince revolutionised the music world with his inimitable funk and soul driven style. He exploded the boundaries of music and created some of the most iconic songs of the 20th century including Raspberry Beret, Kiss, When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette, 1999, Purple Rain, Alphabet Street, U Got The Look and many more!

A 26-strong group of supremely talented musicians, singers and dancers will bring Prince’s music to life for an unforgettable evening that showcases his songwriting genius and pays homage to his imagination and showmanship. Purple Rain is a fitting, fresh and vibrant night of pure celebration.

Director Gary Lloyd said:

‘Prince’s music and constant reinvention is legendary, so to get the opportunity to bring that and all his colourful characters to the theatrical stage is a dream. There is also a real appetite for live music shows that showcase the musicians as part of the performance. Prince was all about this. Prince was a consummate, theatrical artist, but in our show his music is the star. There will be so much for audiences to enjoy whether they’re fans of musical theatre, Prince, or both. Purple Rain is a fast-paced, music lover’s night out that will tease, surprise and excite audiences in the same way he did.’

Multi award-winning director and choreographer Gary Lloyd has earned critical acclaim for his many and varied productions including Thriller Live, Carrie – The Musical, 20th Century Boy – The Story of Marc Bolan, The Genius of Ray Charles, Flashmob and many more.


Casting, including star guests, and further tour dates will be announced in due course




1 – 10 February 2018
Churchill Theatre, Bromley
High St, Bromley BR1 1HA
Box Office: 020 3285 6000
*Will go on sale on 5 June 2017 – check website for details

12 – 17 February 2018
Manchester Opera House
3 Quay St, Manchester, M3 3HP
Box Office: 0844 871 3018
*Will go on sale on 9 June 2017 – check website for details

19 – 24 February 2018
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Royal Parade, Plymouth PL1 2TR
Box Office: 01752 267222
ON SALE SOON – check website for details

26 February – 3 March 2018
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
7 – 10 Regent St, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Cheltenham GL50 1HQ
Box office: 01242 572573
*Will go on sale on w/c 3 July 2017 – check website for details

27 – 31 March
Birmingham Hippodrome
Hurst St, Southside, Birmingham B5 4TB
Box Office: 0844 338 5000

16 – 21 April 2018
Winter Gardens Blackpool
97 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HL
Box office: 0844 856 1111
*Will go on sale on 8 June 2017 – check website for details

23 – 28 April 2018
Edinburgh Playhouse
18-22 Greenside Ln, Edinburgh EH1 3AA
Box office: 0844 871 3014
*Will go on sale on 14 June 2017 – check website for details

7 – 12 May 2018
New Wimbledon Theatre
93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, London SW19 1QG
Box office: 0844 871 7646

14 – 19 May 2018
Canolfan Mileniwm Cymru \ Wales Millennium Centre
Bute Pl, Cardiff Bay CF10 5AL
Box office: 029 2063 6464
*Will go on sale on 7 August 2017 – check website for details

21 – 26 May 2018
Grand Opera House, Belfast
2-4 Great Victoria St, Belfast BT2 7HR

11 – 16 June 2018
Hull New Theatre
Kingston Square, Hull HU1 3HF
Box office: 01482 300 306
*Will go on sale on 9 June 2017 – check website for details

16 – 21 July 2018
Regent Theatre Ipswich
3 St. Helen’s St, Ipswich IP4 1HE
Box office: 01473 433100
ON SALE SOON – check website for details