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Michael Jackson Diamond Celebration – London

Thriller Live MJ 60 Birthday - David Julien, Vivienne Ekwulugo, David Devyne, Haydon Eshun. Photo Betty Zapata
Thriller Live MJ 60 Birthday – David Julien, Vivienne Ekwulugo, David Devyne, Haydon Eshun. Photo Betty Zapata

The King of Pop Michael Jackson would have been 60 on 29th August. Some of the cast members from Thriller Live celebrated by setting off on an open-top bus tour from outside the Lyric Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue at noon on 29th August.

Four cast members sang from the top of a double-decker bus as it made its way around London’s Theatreland. Looking uncannily like Michael himself David Devyne gave the watching crowd a glimpse of Michael’s unique dance moves. David has a special gift which enables him to bring Michael to life. His every move, which he has spent hundreds of hours perfecting by watching original footage of Michael, is spellbinding. Every finger point, every shoulder pop, every lowering of his hat over his face, every smile recreates a tiny piece of the rich mosaic that was Michael. David is the perfect embodiment of Michael as a Dancer.

Michaels voice and oeuvre is so rich that Thriller Live has a number of performers recreating his songs. On the bus were Haydon Eshun, Vivienne Ekwulugo and David Julien. Haydon Eshun has sung in Thriller Live a record 3,102 times. Such is the quality of Haydon’s rendering of Michael’s material that Janet Jackson chose him to support her on her ‘Janet’ London tour dates. Fittingly, Vivienne Ekwulugo’s first public performance was singing The Jackson 5’s ‘Ben’ aged 11. Thriller Live is Vivienne’s West End debut. David Julien’s singing voice is richly suggestive of Michaels tonal range. David performed to live TV audiences of 12 million plus on BBC’s ‘The Voice.’

Thriller Live will celebrate its 4,000 show with a special Gala Performance at The Lyric Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue on Wednesday 12th September. Thriller Live is a wonderful tribute to Michael and his legacy. Since its opening night at the Lyric Theatre in January 2009, Thriller Live has consistently played to packed audiences in its record-breaking run. There can be no better celebration of Michaels 60th. The King of Pop continues to thrill audiences every night on Shaftesbury Avenue. Long may it continue.

Thriller Live
Lyric Theatre

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  • John OBrien

    JOHN O’BRIEN born in London in 1960 is a born and bred Londoner. His mother was an illiterate Irish traveller. His early years were spent in Ladbroke Grove. He was born at number 40 Lancaster Road. In 1967 the family was rehoused in Hackney. He attended Brooke House School for Boys in Clapton, - as did Lord Sugar. He became head boy and was the first person in his family to make it to university, gaining a place at Goldsmiths College in 1978. He took a degree in Sociology and a PGCE . From 1982 until 1993 he taught at schools in Hackney and Richmond. In 1984-85 he attended Bristol University where he gained a Diploma in Social Administration. From 1985 until 1989 he studied part-time in the evenings for a degree in English Literature at Birkbeck College. He stayed on at Birkbeck from 1990-1992 to study for an MA in Modern English Literature. He left teaching in 1993 and has worked as a tutor, researcher, writer and tour guide. He leads bespoke guided tours on London’s history, art , architecture and culture. He has attended numerous courses at Oxford University - Exeter College, Rewley House & Kellogg College. In London, he attends courses at Gresham College, The National Gallery, The British Museum, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, The British Academy and The Royal Society. Read the latest London theatre reviews by all reviewers.

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