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Thriller Live


Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

29 Shaftesbury Avenue, Soho, London W1D 7ES 0330 333 4812

Thriller Live
  • Synopsis
  • Theatremonkey show opinion
  • Reader reviews
  • Performance schedule
  • Ticket prices

Ends 26th April 2020.

The songbook of the Jackson 5 and the late, great spangle-gloved one himself is explored in this discography of his life.
 

Reader RZ cautions,
 "Anybody who is in the least bit photosensitive should stay away. The upper backdrop is a star curtain (sometimes animated) and alright, but the lower background is an animated LED board, with a descending LED board and six side LED boards, all of which are animated. This is in addition to a strobe-heavy colour-flashing heavy (think the "Joseph Megamix" lighting on steroids) show. Definitely one to observe the epilepsy warnings on."

To celebrate Thriller Live’s record-breaking 11th year in the West End, producers have announced the very first show where the audience will be able to sing along to MIchael Jackson and Jackson 5 classics!

Thriller Live celebrated its 7,000th West End performance on 15th May 2019.

Through his timeless music, ground-breaking music videos, dance moves and choreography, Michael Jackson became one of the most influential cultural figures to come out of the 20th century, and his legacy continues today.

On Sunday 7th April 2019, the 4,625th West End performance of Thriller Live caused it to overtake Miss Saigon, which premièred at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 20 September 1989, closing on 30 October 1999, to become the 13th Longest Running West End Musical of all time!

The current Thriller Live West End company are:
Charlotte Berry, Jason Brock, Wayne Anthony Cole, Vivienne Ekwulugo, Haydon Eshun, David Jordan, John Moabi, Cordell Mosteller, Stefan Sinclair, Aisling Duffy, Peter Cleverly, Florivaldo Mossi, Jamie Mason, Ella Redhead, Brett Baxter, Shakara Brown, Ella Coghill, Jamal Crawford, Joel Ekperigin, Ashley Jordon-Packer, Emma Jane Smith, Sophie Usher, Jorgia Vaughan, Triple Calz, Isaiah Mason, Christian Posso, Jay Jay Prince.

Not available. Reports are that this is more concert than biopic musical, and when the biography does happen it's short and usually misfiring. Luckily, the songs themselves seem to land in the stalls just fine. Praise for the performances and energy of the dancers - particularly the youngsters taking the roles of the early Jackson 5.

Simply, something which fills a theatre in a difficult time and gives pleasure to fans of the late Neverland One. Not for theatrical snobs or those who require more sophistication from a script or evening out.

Legacy reader reviews

I saw 'Thriller Live' on Tuesday 13th January 2009 (preview). Some fantastic individual performances, but the show was let down by a pretty ropey audience. People who chat, mobile phones going off, watches beeping every half-hour, drink slurping, sweet wrapper rustling, and people who turn up late. I know this degenerate behaviour isn't exclusive to young people, but the audience were notably young and and clearly ignorant. Theatre staff did nothing. In the end the shushing became a joke in itself because the people who were being shushed at started shushing back.

On the whole the show itself was average. Top marks for the performers, but the production was a touch 'dumbed down' and might only appeal to the kind of casual audience I saw last night. Also, one thing I absolutely hate is when a cast tell me to stand up / clap my hands / spin on my head (and there was plenty of that). No no no! I pay good money to come see YOU perform. This isn't a holiday camp, this should be a world class quality West End production, and I detest solicited attempts to get the audience up and dancing.

Also the programmes were £6! 'Welcome to the West End' the seller said. What a cheek. We see practically all there is to see in the West End but we've never paid £6 for a basic programme. To sum up, it's an evening of music as opposed to a musical (I do appreciate it's not been billed as musical, however it's nothing more that 2 hours 30 minutes of songs cobbled together with a very basic and not particularly informing narrative).

'Thriller Live' could have been innovative,  but it frustrated me because it just felt low quality - both the audience and the production.  

James - Kent
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Went to see this yesterday (Sunday 18th January 2009, 3.30pm performance). Although I enjoyed it, I didn't feel it was worthy of a trip to the West End, more of a 'go and see it if it's coming to your local theatre' type of thing. I paid £40 and thought it was more of a £15 'at local theatre' show.

I felt the first half of the show, when it was the 'Jackson 5,' was a bit amateurish, but the second half was better, they did 'Thriller' and 'Smooth Criminal' well. The actual stage set is just a video screen with a staircase that goes along the back of the stage and the sides, which did look a bit low budget, although the steps did light up! All in all, more of a tribute act than an actual theatre production. If you are more of a "theatre" person then I would not recommend it. With reference to the other review, yes, I found that there were constantly people talking throughout the show, which was very irritating!

Although a staff member said that the show was sold out, there were clearly lots of empty seats, so maybe they only put 75% of the available seats up for sale, so they could technically advertise as "sold out"? The medley at the end was good, people weren't clapping wildly, there was no curtain call or encore, the audience left quite quickly, usually they stick around to see if there is an encore!
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I saw 'Thriller Live' last night (13th May 2009) from D18 and had two comments. First, the seat was great for seeing the cast and choreography, but some of the side lightboards were cut off by the actual lights. I would note, however, that the show is very loud and that patrons in the front stalls may wish to bring earplugs.

I would also note that anybody who is in the least bit photosensitive stay away. The upper backdrop is a star curtain (sometimes animated) and alright, but the lower background is an animated LED board, with a descending LED board and six side LED boards, all of which are animated. This is in addition to a strobe-heavy colour-flashing heavy (think the "Joseph Megamix" lighting on steroids) show. Definitely one to observe the epilepsy warnings on.

rz
http://roguezentradi.blogspot.com
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We bought tickets for "Thriller Live" for the same September 2009 date we had booked to see the late Michael Jackson at the O2.

We could only get seats at the rear with our view blocked by those in front as the seats were not tiered and reasons given below: A general comment on ticket availability for all shows is that the theatres put the worst seats on sale first to panic people into buying side seats, restricted views etc. because they think all the others are sold out. When the worst are sold the best seats are put online and they sell themselves with a result that seat occupancy for the most popular shows are 95% sold if not 100% sold out. You naughty theatre owners and ticket agents !!! Its a conspiracy.

Three of the singers were out of tune for the whole show. Two male dancers were practically performing simulated sex in some scenes.

The show started with the story of the Jackson Family rise to fame and then broke apart introducing singers of other nationalities and ages that had nothing to do with the story.
Lastly cast members encouraged the audience to stand up, clap, dance about and hence block the view of a party of disabled adults and children seated behind me.

Politely I asked the row in front to sit down but they wouldn't because they had tanked themselves up in the bar before and during the show interval. I purposely did not stand up in protest at this annoyance yet still managed to appreciate the music (not the singers) for the whole show.

A good night ruined by a shoddy performance and inconsiderate audience members.
If you take children choose the front row if you can afford it but take your earplugs for when the cast try to sing.

Dave the rave
Redcar
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Saturday evening, January 29th 2011.

More of a 'tribute show' than a musical. Thought it was expensive for this kind of show with no headliners.

Michael Jackson songs are excellent of course and, though some reviewers object to the standing to sing and clap, I go out to enjoy myself, not sit bolt rigid objecting. Having waited all night for 'Thriller,' what a let down. The number was just bolted on at the end with the singers and dancers just dressed in what seemed anything they could find. Having seen "Man In The Mirror" (at half the price of this last July at Leeds Grand) they were all dressed in white ghostly attire which looked the part.

Finally, a reminder that the lighting is fierce for some, though for me the ears buzzing at the end was more of a problem. One of those shows to see, but for me, only once.

We had seats E7 and E8 - E8 next to the Monkey's Green plan and found to be an excellent choice. Row 7 as there's an AA and BB here. Plenty of leg room and very much close to the performers.

Michael
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Hands down the worst piece of dross I've ever endured. And certainly the least "Thrilling" musical I've ever (grudgingly) sat through.

To start.....almost NONE of the singing is even live, which is an insult to the sensibilities. This is not some teenage pop act, where you EXPECT that the "artist" cant' really sing, so it will all be lip-synced. In the West End the very LEAST you can expect is actual live singing. But time after time we saw (from our third row seats) voices coming out when the singer's mouths weren't even open. An absolute travesty. You could maybe, POSSIBLY have a bit of sympathy if there was some palpable sense of humility evinced by the "performers"...but to see these virtually talent-free posers strutting around the stage as though they were putting on God's gift to the West End.....when in fact they were miming along to a very poor musical score, was WELL beyond irritating.

The plot, such as it was, wavered between being laughable and frustrating. There is no repairing this load of rubbish...no "tweaks" that would fix it. You would have to scrap the whole thing and start over. Utterly, irredeemably horrid.

December 2011.
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Date: Tuesday 29th May 2012
Seats: Dress Circle B18 and 19

The show was rubbish, and something I would of expected to see on a cruise ship. The only saving grace was the dancers as they really do work hard and were the best part of the evening.

Not sure if this was supposed to be a tribute, biopic, song and dance show, gawd knows.... As it was more of a very bad concert people thought they could talk: behind us, in front of us, in fact, everywhere we could hear chatter. Terrible.

Also it is apparent that during a couple of numbers the singer decides to 'mime', which to me is disgraceful during a West-End show and in one called Thriller 'Live'!

The Dress Circle has no rake and it was quite difficult to see the stage. The theatre was very hot and I was sweating more than the performers on stage. No Air-con obviously.

I really am getting to the stage of not seeing many more shows as this experience has proven to me that a lot of theatre owners/producers are not interested in the patrons comfort.

High ticket prices with cramped seats where you can't see the stage, and unbearable temperatures inside the venue.

This is an awful show in an awful theatre...congratulations to the producers of Thriller 'not Live'.
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We saw' Thriller Live' at The Lyric on 29th August 2012 as part of Kids Week. We sat in the stalls E19, 20, 21 and I was initially concerned that it might be too close to the stage. However once the show started it was not a problem and you really get to see the actors expressions and of course dance moves. The only concern that I would have about the stalls is that the rake is very shallow and if you had some very tall people in front you may have a problem. We paid an average of £30 per seat (Kids Week) and at this price the show and seats represented excellent value.

Owwww!

Max G
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Seats Row O seats 13 and 14. Due to the shallow rake my 9 year old had trouble seeing some of the action which is a shame as some of the dance moves e.g Moonwalk were lost on him. Also, the audience is encouraged to stand near the start and again at the end so he couldn't see a thing. I was worried the pillar in the row in front would be a problem but it didn't block the view of the stage. Good legroom.

We purchased the tickets as part of Kidsweek but I wouldn't pay full price if taking young children due to the restricted view.

Jack's mum.
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We saw this show twice when it opened around eight years ago, and when we were offered stalls row BB seats for £35 instead of the usual £72.50 in March 2017, we grabbed them! We were sitting in seats BB12&13, the two end seats in that row. The view was excellent and sometimes the performers came right up to the front of the stage and engaged with the folks sitting in the front row, AA. Legroom was adequate and you could see the floor of the stage as it wasn’t set too high.

My partner and I really enjoyed the show and the dancing was sensational! I think that you do have to like the music of Michael Jackson to really appreciate it, though.
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Seat: Stalls, BB13 @ £40 (via London Theatre January Sale). Good view of the stage with only a minor and partial obstruction of the person sitting in front (who was the same height as me). Being so close to the stage I had to crane my neck upwards which left me feeling sore. There is a walking aisle next to this seat where I could fully stretch my left leg out, whilst my right knee touched the back of the seat in front (Im 6ft / 1.8m tall).

Show: I actually didn't realise that this wasn't a musical which serves me right for not researching it properly (I just wanted to watch the show because it's been around for ages and obvious connection to Michael Jackson).

I have to admit, it's not my type of show but I did appreciate how good the dancing is and how I need to youtube the music video for Smooth Criminal (I love that 'lean forward' move they do). Also, by getting everyone out of their seats they do ensure a standing ovation every show.

Now, if they could do a musical version in the vein of Jersey Boys with that kind of biopic storyline, I'd definitely watch that!
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Enjoyed the show, although overall I preferred "Everybody's Talking About Jamie" and "Caroline or Change."

What impressed me most was the dancing and enthusiasm of all the performers. How they remember all the choreography will remain a complete mystery to me! The weakest aspect of the show was the singing which was often very quiet and not particularly intelligible. It was interesting reading what others thought of the singing... Loads of strobe lighting and flashing lights so would not be suitable for those affected by this.

The band was very strong, and several times the guitarists came on stage to strut their stuff alongside the cast!

Now on to seating. I was sitting in stalls A2. Firstly I wish that the front two rows started with "A and B" and not "AA and BB". This caused some confusion with punters sitting in the wrong seats. Why is the seating plan laid out like this anyway? It shouldn't make any difference if rows have to be added or taken away from a particular production - the front row should always be "row A"!

There is no rake in this part of the theatre, and although you have to look up my view was still partially obscured by the folks in front of me. I couldn't quite see the floor of the stage but had no problem in seeing the whole width of the stage. My seat itself wasn't especially comfortable and the sea cushion was quite low. Legroom was poor and there was not even much space to tuck your feet under the seat in front. I did like the actors interacting with the audience in the front couple of rows! Oh, I must mention the sound. It was excellent and not too loud, although others have disagreed!

 

The monkey advises checking performance times on your tickets and that performances are happening as scheduled, before travelling.

Tuesday to Friday at 7.30pm
Saturday at 4pm and 8pm
Sundays at 3.30pm and 7.30pm
NO MONDAY PERFORMANCES.

Runs 2 hours 40 minutes approximately.

 

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

Stalls
All seats except "Premium" seats and restricted view: £77.50
Restricted view seats: £40
Premium Seats rows F to J seats 9 to 16: £95

Dress Circle
All seats (except "Premium" and restricted view seats): £77.50
Restricted view seats: £40
Premium Seats row A 5 to 14: £95

Upper Circle
All seats (except A5 to 12 and 36 to 43; D 5 to 7 and 22 to 24; E 5, 6, 23, 24 and restricted view seats): £55
Row A5 to 12 and 36 to 43; D 5 to 7 and 22 to 24; E 5, 6, 23, 24: £40
Restricted view seats: £27.50

Balcony
Rows A to G (except centre block A to C 1 and 2, A 20, 21, B 22, 23, C 24, 25 and side block rows E to J): £40
Side block rows E to J and centre block restricted view A to C 1 and 2, A 20, 21, B 22, 23, C 24, 25 plus clear view rows H and J: £27.50

Boxes C, D, E, J, K, L: £77.50 per seat; Boxes: A, B, H and M: £65 per seat.

 

"Family Ticket Offer": Buy one full price ticket, and get up to two extra for accompanying children for half price. Maximum purchase is 2 adult full price tickets and four child half price tickets in a single transaction for a single performance in a single price band. NOT available on Friday, Saturday and any school holiday performances. To book either visit the theatre in person or call the box office (Quay Tickets for the company) on 0330 333 4812, quoting the "Family Offer."

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