Thriller Live! (4000th Show Gala), Lyric Theatre | Review

Thriller Live! (4000th Show Gala)
Lyric Theatre 
Reviewed on Wednesday 12th September 2018 by Emma Gradwell


This week Thriller Live! celebrated its record breaking 4000th performance with a glittering Gala Night featuring special guest performer Peter Andre for one night only.

It was also the launch of a year long collaboration with The Prince's Trust with proceeds from tickets sales to be donated, and a commitment from the Thriller Live! team to provide experiences and mentoring over the next year, which will help to support young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to realise their ambitions through workshops, art projects, Q&A sessions and opportunities to experience the show. 

Before the show began, the atmosphere was really electric. There were dedicated fans packing the audience, many of whom had been to see the show many times before. 

Comedians Russell Kane and John Culshaw started off proceedings with an introduction for the evening and delivered with humour and style. 

For anyone not familiar with Thriller Live!, the show is a nostalgic and fond journey through Michael Jacksin's musical career from the early days of Motown and The Jackson Five to beyond his Bad album. 

Bouncing onto the stage came the adorable Xhanti Mbonzongwana as a young Michael. His beautiful voice and sharp dance moves took us back to his early career with songs such as ABC and I Want You Back. Backed by an excellent ensemble it was a great performance and got the audience up and on their feet right from the off. 

Making his way back to Thriller Live! to perform as an adult Michael was Kieran Alleyne who has previously performed as little Michael in the early days of Thriller Live! Well observed mannerisms and slick dancing in Michael's staccato style made his performance mesmerising. The ensemble dancers in this production really have their work cut out. For most part the show is very high tempo and the choreography is both complex and gruelling. They make it look effortless and it really did make the crowd go wild with excitement. They are clearly having a great time on the stage and this is reflected in how well it is received by the audience. 

The vocalists that carry the choreographed routines so beautifully are excellent. With stand out performances noticeably coming from Vivienne Ekwulugo and David Julien. For this special evening we also had the privilege of seeing Peter Andre performing alongside the cast. He first took to the stage to perform the emotionally charged ballad She's Out of My Life, which he did wonderfully. He had the audience gripped from that moment. His performances came across as polished and his duet with Vivienne on I Just Can't Stop Loving You seemed truly heart felt. 

My only criticism of the show is that some of the high energy performances are very clearly lip synced to a backing track and with so many great vocal performances it's hard to understand why that is. However, this really was a THRILLING night. The audience loved it, the partnership with The Princes Trust is to be applauded and I am sure the show will continue to entertain in the future. 

Thriller Live! is booking at the Lyric Theatre until 7th April as well as a UK Tour

photo credit: Betty Zapata

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