Billed as a concert show as opposed to a musical, Thriller Live includes Michael Jackson and Jackson 5 chart-toppers such as “I Want You Back”, “I’ll Be There”, “Earth Song”, “Blame It on the Boogie”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It” and, of course, the title song, “Thriller” from best-selling albums including Off The Wall, Thriller, Bad, Dangerous and HIStory.
Thriller Live is directed by Gary Lloyd and written by Adrian Grant, with design by Jonathan Park. The cast is led by three 13-year olds who rotate in the role of Young Michael - with newcomer Kieran Alleyne, who was cast through open auditions, enjoying the limelight on press night.
Despite the apparent nervousness of producers regarding the critical reaction, most reviews were in fact quite favourable. Words such as “slick” “glitzy” and “eye-watering” adorned the papers as critics confounded expectations by praising Thriller Live's technical proficiency, if not its plot (the script could be written on “two pages of A4” according to one critic). And young debutant Kieran Alleyne moonwalked his way into the critics' affections – the “star of the show” according to Whatsonstage.com's Michael Coveney.
- by Theo Bosanquet & Katie Blemler