Theatre Review: Thriller Live - Lyric Theatre, London ✭✭✭½

Thriller Live
Lyric Theatre, London

Review by Desi Aleksieva

Thursday 8 October 2015: A,B,C… It’s easy as 1,2,3….There was a lot of excitement as the crowds outside the Lyric Theatre in London were slowly making their way inside to what was the launch of 'the new look production' of Thriller Live.

I’ll be honest, the re-worked opening was disappointing with a lack of the “wow” factor I was expecting to see. That changed as soon as young MJ Eshan Gopal jumped onto the stage to perform some of the classic Jackson 5 hits. In the iconic afro wig look, Eshan looked comfortable on stage as he performed ABC, with perfect vocals and choreography.

Along with another five lead vocalists throughout the show, the performances certainly showed versatility albeit some inconsistency in the vocals. Alex Buchanan stood out by far with the simple -no backing dancers, no special effects - yet breath taking version of She’s Out of my Life; perhaps the highlight of the show.
Trenyce Cobbins was the only female solo vocalist yet she had a part in most of the performances; unfortunately a female voice, as strong as it was, just didn’t do justice to some of the material Trenyce covered.
 The iconic MJ moves were provided by Dajiow who has certainly mastered the moon walk and the slightly excessive crotch movements! For some reason though, he did very little of the singing.

Gary Lloyd’s choreography and costumes were well designed and suited to each performance. The backing dancers were all faultless and showed real enthusiasm and energy throughout the show.  The cover of Thriller certainly thrilled!

In this new revamped look of the show, more video backdrops and special effects have been included which worked well in most cases. Perhaps the pictures of a polar bear on a melted ice cap or burning forests during the Earth Song put a slight downer on the overall feel, something you don’t expect for a night out to the theatre.

Thriller Live is another one of those shows that doesn’t really have a story to it, yet the narrator tries to connect the performances with scripted links that were unfortunately neither informative nor interesting.  

Overall though, an enjoyable evening with all of the classic songs but perhaps not something I would jump at the chance to see again in the current format. 

Three and a half stars ✭✭✭½

Thriller Live continues at Lyric Theatre, London and is currently booking to June 2016, which will see the production comfortably pass 3,000 West End performances.

Thriller Live is also touring the UK

The UK tour dates are:

Blackpool Grand Theatre, 5 - 10 October  
Leicester De Montfort Hall, 12 - 17 October
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre 19 - 24 October  
Hull New Theatre, 26 - 31 October
Portsmouth Guildhall, 27 - 31 December 
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall, Tuesday 12 - Saturday 17 January 2016
Manchester Opera House, Monday 18 - Saturday 23 January 
Sunderland Empire, Monday 25 - Saturday 30 January 
York Grand Opera House Monday 1 - Saturday 6 February
Stoke on Trent Regent Theatre, 11 - 13 February
Bristol Hippodrome, 15 - 20 February
Southend Cliff’s Pavilion, 22 - 27 February
Darlington Civic Theatre, 29 February - 5 March
Birmingham Alexandra Theatre, 7 - 12 March
Oxford New Theatre, 14 - 19 March
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Monday 21 - Saturday 26 March

More dates will be added through to July 2016