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Thriller Live @ Birmingham ICC - Review

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by Andy Coleman (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Birmingham. I like Classic Rock, 70s pop music, football and interviewing celebrities. Follow me on Twitter: @andycoleman9
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The phrase 'all-singing, all-dancing' is often overused when referring to stage musicals but that's exactly the way to describe Thriller Live which has just begun a three week residency in Birmingham.

Thriller - Live Michael Jackson
Shake Your Body: Thriller Live


Staged in the theatre at the city's International Convention Centre until January 5, 2014, the only criticism is that the auditorium seems too plush to get up and Shake Your Body! And you have to Blame It On The Boogie because this production is a Dancing Machine that makes everyone want to Get On The Floor and Rock With You. Okay, enough of the titles of some of the MJ songs that feature in the show. Needless to say, it's wall to wall music, movement and moonwalking with so many hot rockin' beats you'll be unable to stay seated for long. Coupled with spectacular lights and video effects this is a musical that's so good it's Bad.

Thriller - Live Michael Jackson
Moonwalking: Thriller Live


The show chronicles the music of Michael Jackson and his brothers, from the early days of the Jackson 5 through to the more politically motivated material like They Don't Care About Us and Heal The World.

Thriller - Live Michael Jackson
Terrific: Thriller Live dancers


The dancers and lead singers are terrific. The five male and five female dancers exert so much energy you fear for their health but they constantly deliver, whether it's as the Walking Dead in Thriller, the disco divas of Off The Wall or the innovative gymnasts in Dangerous and Smooth Criminal.

Thriller - Live Cleo Higgins
Comin' 'Atcha: Cleo Higgins and dancers in Thriller Live (Pic: Irina Chira)


The singing duties are shared between three male vocalists and Birmingham's Cleo Higgins of The Voice and Cleopatra fame. Cleo's performance is solid and she confidently tackles the likes of I'll Be There and Can You Feel It. Also noteworthy is singer Jesse Smith whose long hair makes him look more like a heavy metal band frontman but who brings a rock edge to She's Out of My Life and Dirty Diana.

Talking of bands, we only glimpse the on-stage musicians who are behind screens at the back of the stage but their performance is flawless. And two guitarists deservedly get their moment in the spotlight with a couple of featured solos.

An extended finale of Thriller, Bad and Black or White made me wonder whether the cast thought it was a case of 'Never Can Say Goodbye' - but the audience were happy to respond with 'Don't Stop Till We Get Enough'.

Thriller - Live Michael Jackson


Following three weeks in Birmingham Thriller Live tours the UK till July 5 visiting Nottingham, Southend, Manchester, Brighton, Woking, Torquay, Canterbury, Liverpool, Dunfermline, Bath, Aylesbury, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Plymouth.
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Why? The King of Pop's hits and more
When: Until January 5, 2014
Phone: 0121 345 0603
Where: ICC, Broad Street, Birmingham
Cost: From £13.50 plus fees
Your Comment
This sounds really good. Do they do the Thriller dance (from the pop video) in it?
by Alison Brinkworth (score: 2|258) 1303 days ago
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