Thriller Live! - Theatre Review in Bristol
Posted on: 2016-02-16
It's a smorgasbord of toe-tapping, groove-inducing, sing-along inspiring aural awesomeness, covering classics such as I'll Be There, ABC, Blame It On The Boogie, Beat It, The Way You Make Me Feel and Man in the Mirror.
King of Pop Michael Jackson's extraordinary musical legacy is given an astonishing, unforgettable tribute with Thriller Live!, which runs at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 20th February 2016.
Not content with already having raked in a global box office in excess of £100 million, the show has also nudged Evita out of the West End spotlight by becoming the 17th longest running show of all time. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, it's also extended its seven-year London run - a record breaker in itself - and will premiere in Egypt, the 32nd country to debut the show.
The late icon's 45-year musical history is celebrated in Thriller Live!, and it's a magical, totally electrifying two hours featuring some of the most seminal, groundbreaking songs ever written in the soul, disco, rock and pop genres. It's a show that's also constantly being tweaked and updated, with the new version giving Bristol audiences a mind blowing treat thanks to a sensational, dynamic new opening, four additional songs, as well as new costumes, videos and special effects.
Angelica Allen is one of five pitch perfect, incredible lead vocalists who divide the singing duties to belt out Jackson's gobsmacking back catalogue of hits. It's a smorgasbord of toe-tapping, groove-inducing, sing-along inspiring aural awesomeness, covering classics such as I'll Be There, ABC, Blame It On The Boogie, Beat It, The Way You Make Me Feel and Man in the Mirror.
Stand-out renditions include a moving performance of Earth Song guaranteed to give you goosebumps and an exhilaratingly energetic cover of They Don't Care About Us, although in all fairness every song was delivered with such spot-on passion, gutsiness, raw power and emotion that it's nigh on impossible to pick favourites. In fact, it's easy to overlook just how many classic songs Jackson has written, and the show moonwalks its way masterfully from one musical masterpiece to another.
Jackson's innovative dance moves are also recreated with eye-popping accuracy, executed with effortless style, flair and slickness by choreographer and director Gary Lloyd, while Rob Jones and Catherine Teatum's costumes impeccably reproduce the sartorial fashions of the time. Jonathan Park's set design - a gantry flanked by stairs and an assortment of visually ever-changing videos screens - is also a knock-out, supported and enhanced by Nigel Catmur's dazzling lighting design.
By the time the ensemble sang and danced their way through Jackson's arguably most famous hits - Smooth Criminal, Billie Jean, Bad, Black or White, and Thriller - the audience had been whipped up into such a frenzy that it was impossible to keep them down. Clapping, singing and dancing, the on-stage performers positively encouraged the fervent audience participation.
Thriller Live! is an absolute barnstormer of a musical treat; an energetic, adrenaline-pumping nostalgic playback through the legendary Michael Jackson jukebox. It's also true testament to the unquestionable talent of a man who left us far too soon and who was the reigning master of rock, pop and soul.
Reviewed by Jamie Caddick for 365Bristol.com - The leading events and entertainment website in Bristol
This excellent show runs until 20 February 2016 and tickets are available from the Hippodrome by clicking on this link.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Swansea, Jimmy moved to Bristol back in 2004 to attend university. Passionate about live music, sport, science and nature, he can usually be found walking his cocker spaniel Baxter at any number of green spots around the city. Call James on 078 9999 3534 or email Editor@365Bristol.com.