2018 – A YEAR CELEBRATING MICHAEL JACKSON THE GREATEST ENTERTAINER OF ALL TIME
- Thriller Live enters its 10th year Moonwalking in the West End
- On February 15, 2018, Thriller Live will become the 14th Longest Running West End Musical in history
- More celebrations are planned for Thriller Live’s 4,000th West End performance and what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th birthday in August
- “Michael Jackson: On The Wall” at the National Portrait Gallery will celebrate The King of Pop’s influence on other artists
Through his timeless music, ground-breaking music videos, dance moves and choreography, Michael Jackson became one of the most influential cultural figures to come out of the 20th century, and his legacy continues today.
2018 would have been The King of Pop’s 60th birthday, and a year of celebration is planned for “The Greatest Entertainer of All Time”.
Thriller Live, the concert spectacular at London’s Lyric Theatre, which showcases his unforgettable music and dazzling choreography will see its record-breaking West End run enter its 10th year. And on February 15, the show will smash yet another West End record by becoming the 14th Longest Running Musical in History. Thriller Live also holds the record as the eighth longest-running show currently playing in the West End. Yet more celebrations are planned for the 4,000th West End performance later in the year.
The longest-running shows currently playing in the West End
1. The Mousetrap (opened in 1952)
2 Les Miserables (1985)
3.The Phantom of the Opera (1986)
4. The Woman in Black (1989)
5. Mamma Mia! (1999)
6 The Lion King (1999)
7. Wicked (2006)
8.Thriller Live (2009)
A second Thriller Live company is touring the UK and Europe until July.
The art world will join in the celebrations with Michael Jackson: On the Wall, at the National Portrait Gallery from 28 June – 31 October. This landmark exhibition brings together the works of over 40 artists, drawn from public and private collections around the world, including new works made especially for the exhibition. It will explore the influence of Michael Jackson on some of the leading names in contemporary art, spanning several generations of artists across all media.
The cast of Thriller Live will also be keeping his musical memory alive by performing on some major primetime shows on BBC1 and ITV – watch for updates.
Adrian Grant, longtime associate of Michael Jackson and executive director of Thriller Live, said: “Michael Jackson, who so sadly passed away on the 25th June 2009, is and will always be the undisputed King of Pop. He is, in my opinion, the world’s greatest ever entertainer, and I feel it is very fitting that Thriller Live continues its West End run and world tour as a tribute to his memory, and as a celebration of his work. We dedicate Thriller Live to Michael Jackson – the performer and the man – for his creativity and humanitarian vision of peace, love and harmony. It has been a privilege for everyone connected to the show to work with one of the greatest ever catalogues in music history. We hope this celebration will be just one small part of the Michael Jackson legacy.”
Thriller Live is unlike other West End musicals. There is no script or story, it is instead an eye-popping celebration of Michael Jackson’s music and dance legacy, bringing to life on stage his distinctive high-energy dancing and the pulsating sound of many of pop’s greatest hits. The show changes each year with new numbers added, and features specially created video footage and effects and dazzling choreography by the show’s award-winning director, Gary Lloyd.
Thriller Live first Moonwalked into the Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue in 2009 and it holds the record as the longest ever run of a show since the theatre started entertaining the capital in December 1888.
Thriller Live has now been seen by 4,483,254 milion people in 33 countries and played over 5,929 performances worldwide, never failing to get a standing ovation!
The current Thriller Live West End company are:
Charlotte Berry, Jason Brock, Wayne Anthony Cole, Vivienne Ekwulugo, Haydon Eshun, David Jordan, John Moabi, Cordell Mosteller, Stefan Sinclair, Aisling Duffy, Peter Cleverly, Florivaldo Mossi, Jamie Mason, Ella Redhead, Brett Baxter, Shakara Brown, Ella Coghill, Jamal Crawford, Joel Ekperigin, Ashley Jordon-Packer, Emma Jane Smith, Sophie Usher, Jorgia Vaughan, Triple Calz, Isaiah Mason, Christian Posso, Jay Jay Prince.
The band are: Musical Supervisor, Keyboard 2 & Guitar 2 John Maher; AMD, Keyboard 1, Ryan Farmery; Guitar 1 Damien Cooper; Bass Oliver Latka; Drums Mike Bradley; Percussion Accy Yeats.
The Creative Team are: Director and Choreographer Gary Lloyd, Original concept and Executive Director Adrian Grant, Musical Supervisor and Head Arranger John Maher, Set Designer Jonathan Park, Lighting Designer Nigel Catmur, Associate Lighting Designer Matt Lee, Video Content Designer Colin Rozee and Potion Pictures ,Costume Stylists and Supervisors Shooting Flowers, Sound Designer Chris Whybrow, Casting Director Debbie O’Brien, Associate Choreographer Jo Dyce, Media Programmer Sam MacLaren.
Producers: Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.
Thriller Live was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson.
Thriller Live recently completed its second residency in the People’s Republic of China, where in 2016 it was honoured to be chosen as the opening production at a brand new state-of-the-art 1,200-seat theatre at the new Parisian Hotel Macau.
I was lucky enough to see Michael Jackson live at Wembley in 1997 and have to say, this is the nearest thing to that concert that I can imagine. Michael himself may be dead but with Thriller Live – just celebrating becoming the 15th longest running musical in the West End – delighting audiences eight times a week his music lives on.
Review by Terry Eastham
29 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 7ES
London, W1D 7ES
Currently booking until Sunday 30 September 2018
Running time: 2hrs 20mins including one interval