Monday 07 July 2018
An exuberant cast recreated a string of Michael Jackson hits in a show which celebrated the music, dance and career of one of the most popular performers of all time.
Creators of other jukebox musicals could really learn something about how to take an artist and create a decent touring show that encapsulates their work. There is no irritating convoluted story stringing the show along. It is simply Michael Jackson’s music and dance.
Thriller Live, avoids becoming just another tribute show by having six lead vocalists and a group of dancers to better explore the many facets and styles of the man and his music.
It is a well represented cast, something too many commercial touring shows lack. Women take lead roles in songs and casting fully embraces diversity and background. Basically, even white middle class theatre goers are fed up with obvious casting whitewashes – that’s why it’s so obvious when a show doesn’t do it. Black or White in Act II makes this a salient point.
You don’t even need to be a big Jackson fan to appreciate the show. It’s surprising exactly how many songs spanning the decades you will recognise.
The dancing is exceptional, perfectly recreating the precision of the original choreography including slides, glides and Moonwalks.
The audience needed no persuasion to jump to their feet with vocalist and resident director Britt Quentin pitting one side of the auditorium against the other.
Billie Jean, Thriller and Smooth Criminal were the show’s highlights, with exceptional direction, staging and performance. I could have happily watched Billie Jean and Smooth Criminal several times.
Nigel Catmur’s pop concert lighting along with Colin Rozee’s video, brought depth and at times, perfectly created the illusion of many more dancers on stage.
I’m genuinely surprised at how much I appreciated this show. I was never much of a Michael Jackson fan, I don’t do clap along and I’m quite rigid about the type of show, production company and art form I’m willing to invest time in. However, this is definitely a refreshing change from your standard musical theatre fare. It’s perfect for a sit back and relax experience with fine dancing, top tunes and an expert cast to recreate the choreographic magic.
Thriller Live is at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 14 July 2018.
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