Celebrating Motown, disco, pop, RnB, rock and everything in between, Thriller Live is an incredibly energetic show that is a must-see for Michael Jackson fans everywhere.
Covering classic hits such as Bad, Smooth Criminal and, of course, Thriller, the show’s cast are exceptionally talented and all compliment each other well. Resident Director and lead vocalist Britt Quentin has a beautiful voice very similar to Jackson’s, and interacts nicely with the audience. Though I’m generally not a fan of odd snippets of “narrative” and the cast trying to encourage audience participation, these moments only make up a very small part of the show and actually do help to create a warm, lively atmosphere that continues throughout the show.
Rory Taylor and Shaquille Hemmans both deliver strong performances as the other male lead vocalists. Taylor is clearly cast in the role of the rocker, and he stands out for his unique singing voice and performance style that differs significantly from Jackson’s. Hemmans has a lovely vocal quality and, like Quentin, interacts well with the audience.
Playing Michael Jackson in numbers such as Billie Jean is the spectacular Sean Christopher. His style of dancing is smooth, slick, and totally Jackson. Here is the opportunity for the show to really pay tribute to the legend himself, and Christopher does this beautifully. Thanks to his spot-on performance, which raises the roof, the rest of the show can be allowed a little artistic freedom. Egyptian-themed dance numbers are intertwined with more traditional tribute numbers – whichever you prefer, every audience member is bound to like something about this show.
Earth Song is my favourite number of the night as the cast come together to create Michael Jackson magic. There’s something truly lovely about seeing a close cast share such a touching moment on stage, and this receives a standing ovation from the audience.
The show perhaps won’t be how you will anticipate – it’s not a tribute act, nor a concert. There’s not a narrative telling the story of Michael Jackson’s life, yet it’s clear the actors are breaking the fourth wall and really making sure the audience knows this is a celebration of the life of The King of Pop. And goodness, what a celebration.
If you love the songs of Michael Jackson, don’t miss the chance to see this wonderful show.
Catch it at Leeds Grand Theatre until 15th April!