Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

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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Thriller Live! Climbs the ‘Longest Running Show’ Chart

“Thriller Live” smashes yet another West End record!

After 3,304 peformances it topples “Me & My Girl”to become the 16th Longest Running Musical of all Time!

Thriller Live has smashed yet another West End record to become London’s 16th Longest Running Musical of all time.

On Sunday December 18, the cast performed the 3,304th show at the Lyric Theatre to overtake “Me & My Girl”, which opened in 1985, to snatch the record.

Click here for the full Top Twenty

And another is due to fall soon… on Saturday February 4 2017, Thriller Live will play its 3,358th show at the Lyric, when it will topple Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s legendary 1972 rock opera, “Jesus Christ Superstar” to become no 15 in the official West End Hall of Fame.
Thriller Live, the West End concert spectacular, created to celebrate the career of the world’s greatest entertainer, Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five, is currently the 7th longest running West End Musical still playing – but that will change again when “Jersey Boys” closes in March.
Thriller Live recently announced yet another new booking period to October 1, 2017.
Thriller Live first opened in the West End in January 2009. It never fails to get the audience on its feet and has received nightly standing ovations at the Lyric Theatre, where it  holds the record as the longest running show since the theatre started entertaining the capital in December 1888.
Thriller Live recently sold its 2 millionth West End ticket and has now been seen by over 4 milion people in 33 countries and played over 5,100 performances worldwide.
Thriller Live sets out on January 27 on a major new tour, playing 12 theatres across the UK, Germany and Macau. The UK tour dates are: Southport Theatre (27 & 28 Jan); Eden Court Theatre, Inverness (30 Jan – 4 Feb); His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen (6 – 11 Feb); Norwich Theatre Royal (13 – 18 Feb); Wolverhampton Grand Theatre (21- 25 Feb); Venue Cymru, Llandudno (27 Feb – 1 March); Sands Centre Carlisle (2 – 4 March); Gaiety Theatre Dublin (6 – 11 March); Waterfront Hall, Belfast (16 – 18 March); Grand Theatre Swansea (20 – 25 March).

Book tickets for Thriller Live! via Nimax by

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