The Lyric Theatre opened in the late 1800’s and boasts being a Grade II listed building. Early in the theatre’s history, it staged mostly comic operas, and later it has been a home to light comedies, musicals and straight dramas. It currently hosts the West End’s 20th longest running show – Thriller Live.
After opening at the Lyric Theatre in London on the 2nd of January 2009, Thriller Live now celebrates its sixth birthday in the West End. It has also embarked on a world tour and an incredibly successful UK arena tour, playing over 3000 shows globally to 2.5 million fans, visiting over 26 counties and entering the West End record books by becoming the longest running show in the Lyric Theatres 125 year history.
Thriller Live continues to wow audiences even six years later – having the whole of the auditorium on their feet! Experience over two hours of constant chart toppers from the king of pop, surfing through the pop, rock, soul and disco eras. The show pays homage to Jackson’s 45 year musical history. Songs included: I Want You Back, ABC, Can You Feel It, Off The Wall, The Way You Make Me Feel, Smooth Criminal, Beat It, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Bad, Rock With You, They Don’t Care About Us, Dangerous, Heal The World, Thriller and many more!
The style of choreography obviously varied in style as the genre of music changed. However, I’m not sure if this is due to my ignorance on early styles of popular choreography, but, most of the first acts choreography seemed rather peculiar – indescribably so. This then resulting in attention being turned to the performers themselves. Which, unfortunately wasn’t always rewarding. Overall, the girls gave more of a performance than the boys, the girls were very engaging facially, whereas with the boys it seemed they relied on their physiques and tricks to impress and engage the audience.
There is no denying that Thriller Live is more of a concert than a musical/typical West End show, this then makes the question arise, is it really suitable for the West End stage? The public go to see West End shows predominantly for escapism and to get away from their everyday life and be transported into another world. However, with Thriller Live being heavily concert orientated in style, and making it very apparent with its delivery, you are very aware you are watching a performance. Resulting in a lack of emotional investment in the show.
Reviewed by Thomas Yates
Thriller Live is playing at the Lyric Theatre until 6 September 2015. Click here to book tickets.