More than 2,200 standing ovations
It has Moonwalked to 23 countries
A global audience of 1.8 million
Thriller - Live, the spectacular concert show that celebrates the music of the world's greatest entertainer and undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson, is celebrating its 4th year in the West End.
More than 750,000 people have now seen the production at the Lyric Theatre, where it opened in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours, and where it is the longest-running show since 5 Guys Named Moe almost 20 years ago. It holds the record for the highest weekly gross in the history of the theatre, and is currently booking to September 23, 2012.
Thriller - Live, made more West End history when it recently launched the first ever global dance auditions via Facebook. Anyone, anywhere in the world, who believed they had the right moves to become a Thriller dancer in the West End was able to record an audition to a backing track and upload to the relaunched Thriller- Live Facebook page. Fans in their thousands then voted for their favourite dancers. The Top 15 with the most votes - including dancers from as far afield and Bulgaria and Spain - finally get their chance to audition in front of the Thriller Live creative team, including its award-winning director & choreographer, Gary Lloyd, producer Paul Walden and show creator Adrian Grant onstage at the Lyric Theatre on Thursday January 19.
During its West End run, the Thriller - Live cast have worn - and worn out - more than 500 pairs of trainers , over 300 trilby hats… and 50,000 batteries have been recycled from microphone packs.
Thriller - Live, which combines high-energy dancing, eye-popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography, is not a rigid book musical with set songs, but is a constantly evolving music concert celebration. Following the tragic death of Michael Jackson, the show has regularly been updated with additional songs, new visuals and choreography.
Several singers share the songs of MJ. These include Broadway star MiG Ayesa who starred in Rock of Ages and Burn the Floor in New York. His other USA stage credits include We Will Rock You, Rent, Buddy, Grease, Fame, and West Side Story. Fellow American Trenyce Cobbins was a Top 5 finalist in Season 2 of Simon Cowell’s American Idol, singing before 30 million TV viewers each week. She was the first American Idol contestant to headline two of her own headliner shows in Las Vegas, Trenyce has since expanded her stage work to theatre, including musicals such as the 30th Anniversary Tour of Ain’t Misbehavin (which earned her a Grammy nomination) and Dreamgirls. Haydon Eshun was also discovered by Simon Cowell. The former lead singer of boy band Ultimate Kaos, he was discovered and given his first record contract by Simon Cowell at BMG records in 1992. As a forerunner to Pop Idol or X-Factor, for the first time Simon had held open auditions for vocalists, and a panel of Simon, a manager and a producer ‘judged‘ them. Simon’s concept was to create a new Jackson 5, but he had to find the right lead singer, and discovered this in Haydon. Wayne Anthony Cole has previously starred in the musicals Dirty Dancing, Starlight Express, Buddy and The Who’s Tommy.
Since opening in the West End, several world tours have seen the show play to great acclaim in 23 countries - Ireland, Holland, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Greece, China, South Africa, Monaco, Singapore and Abu Dhabi - and the show has been seen by more than 1.8 million people worldwide.
A year after Michael Jackson’s death, a permanent West End memorial to him was unveiled in the foyer of the Lyric Theatre by the cast and Britainʼs top dance group, Diversity.
Thriller - Live was originally conceived and created by Executive Director of the show, Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson, and author of ‘Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary’.
It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.