THRILLER LIVE, 4 Stars

THRILLER LIVE
Lyric Theatre
2008 to Sunday 26th April 2020

“Peter Andre is today a global megastar with almost 6 million social media followers. When he first burst to international fame as a pop artist in the Nineties with hits including ‘Mysterious Girl’ and ‘Flava’, he was the sixth highest selling artist in the UK, having had numerous number one hit singles, two number one albums, and collected a multitude of national and international awards.

Peter said: “I had such an amazing experience performing in Thriller Live’s 4,000th gala night and I can’t wait to come back for a full run of shows. This is such an honour for me because Michael Jackson was musically the biggest influence in my life and career. He made me dream of being on stage and to be part of music. A year ago in Thriller LIve I sang ‘Rock With You’ – which was one of the first records I ever bought – ‘I Just Can’t Stop Loving You’, ‘Man in the Mirror’ and ‘She’s Out of My Life’. I can’t wait to spring a few more surprises!”

Gary Lloyd, Thriller Live’s award-winning Director/Choreographer said: “After working with Peter Andre on his own live stage and arena shows, I discovered how passionate he is about Michael’s music. Peter absolutely wowed us all last year when he appeared as our special guest to help celebrate our 4,000th performance. I am delighted we get the opportunity to explore his incredible talent and affinity for this material even further with the announcement of these dates.”

Thriller Live Producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol of Flying Music said: “We recently announced that due to the theatre’s refurbishment, Thriller Live will sadly end its record-breaking 11-year run at the Lyric on Sunday 26 April 2020, at which point the show will have completed 4,705 performances making it the longest running show ever at the Lyric  and the 11th longest running musical in West End history. We promised special guests and surprises to end our run there on an absolute high and we are delighted to welcome Peter Andre back to headline two weeks of shows. This promises to be an unforgettable experience for fans lucky enough to get a ticket.

Peter Andre is an award-winning global media star with a successful music and television career. In the 1990s he was the sixth highest-selling artist in the UK, with numerous number one hit singles, two number one albums and toured all over the world collecting a multitude of national and international awards.

With many TV shows and appearances under his belt, including his reality show ‘Peter Andre: My Life’ and ‘60 Minute
Makeover’, the third series of ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’, and the 13th series of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, in which
he was partnered with Janette Manrara. Peter has also moved into the world of film.

He has sold out arenas, recently completed his ‘Celebrating 25 Years’ tour and appeared on tour as Teen Angel in ‘Grease:
the Musical’.

As well as many more amazing projects, the happily married father of four is busier than ever.”

Review by Richard Lambert, 4 Stars
Clearly Peter Andre is a huge phenomenon with many fans! They flocked to see him in the amazingly successful production “Thriller Live” and went wild every time he came on stage.
As a 46 year old performer Peter is incredible! He can sing, dance and perform, and looks great! BUT he’s not Michael Jackson and not an MJ Impersonator. So thankfully the Director and Producers of this show kept the main format of the production with other members of the show doing the lookey-likely MJ numbers.
It really doesn’t matter whether you come to hear Michael Jackson’s incredible music, or if you come to get up close to Peter Andre, either way you’re going to have a blast and love this show!
For 40 years Michael Jackson dominated the pop scene and there’s so much material that it’s hard to fit it all into a 2 hour show. With a musical mash that often teases with little snatches of other songs to come, and middle 8s that are other famous and well known songs, this is a dream musical!
It’s staged as a concert – no story, very little set or props, just great songs, choreography, cast and performance. It’s a cruise-ship-come-theme-park show done to a very high standard. It’s “Chicago” without the plot, it’s a show that embraces diversity and a love for all!
The lighting (Nigel Catmur) is incredibly safe. With only 1 or 2 special focus positions, and all the principals covered by Follow Spots, it matters little where the dancers are on stage or the Director’s blocking. It will work regardless. And with an older moving light rig, and national treasures like Colour Web hanging upstage, it ticks the concert box and looks impressive.
Similarly the Video content. Occasionally it appears relevant to the song, but generally is space filling and looks pretty on low-res pitch video panels, the central one of which flies in and out many times.
The Set design (Jonathan Park) is a mezzanine and side steps with LED battens.
The Sound Design surprised me and not always in a good way. For a show that’s titled “Thriller Live” with a live band and live mics it was surprisingly very tracked!!! Several vocalists scratching their ears and struggling to hear themselves was a little distracting and especially on a show that’s been running for 10 years. Clearly, there’s been a decision already made by the producers that the backing vocal tracks is what will be heard, not the performers, then scratching your ears isn’t going to change this decision. All it does is indicate to the audience that you’re not happy with the mix. This was even mentioned by the 2 lovely little old ladies sat next to me who are unlikely “in the business”.
The stage doesn’t move or elevate, the central circular lighting truss doesn’t tilt or lower, and the chaser lights just about visible in the flys don’t fly in…..this does seem to be a very stripped back production for the West End.
But desite all this, what is incredible and hits home hard is the choreography! Wow! Starting out with some of the earlier songs and looking more like Pan’s People or Arlene, we’re then taken through to the later works of MJ and the choreo steps it up and is edgey, in your face, adult, and still feels connected to the music and era! Nails it!
The choreo (Gary Lloyd) can’t work without such a strong cast who gave 100% and can really perform through their dance. Fierce, graceful, acrobatics, amazing and charismatic – the ensemble lift this production to awesome!
Add in Michael’s music and it’s easy to see why it’s currently the 13th longest running West End show – and counting!
A fantastic night out for those who want to see pop songs and love theatre!

LISTINGS INFO

THRILLER LIVE

Lyric Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue,
London
W1D 7ES

Booking until Sunday 26 April 2020

Peter Andre will appear
Tuesday 10 December to
Sunday 22 December
(excluding Sunday evenings)

Tuesday – Friday, 7.30pm
Saturday, 4pm & 8pm
Sunday, 3.30pm & 7.30pm

Running time: 2hrs 20mins
including one interval

Tickets: from £30

No booking fee if booked in person
at the box office

Box office: 0330 333 4812

All tickets include a £1.25
Theatre Restoration Levy

Social:

Twitter: @ThrillerLive
Facebook: ThrillerLive
www.thrillerlive.com
www.nimaxtheatres.com