Review of Thriller Live tour in Southport

Thriller Live Southport theatre

Thriller Live european tour started last Friday with 3 shows in the English town of Southport. Facing a few imperfections during the opening, the energy finally won! Flashback to these 3 performances of a successful launch!

Almost like in West end

If you already came to watch Thriller Live in London, you will notice that tours aren’t an exact replica of what’s performed at the Lyric theatre.

The first main difference is the absence of young Michael Jackson. Indeed, you will still hear songs of the Jacksons 5, performed by all lead vocals. If I missed the freshness of different young (and impressive!) MJ I could see in West end, the result is really great. The only song on which he’s really missed is Rockin Robin. Actually it’s the only song with no singer on stage – just 4 dancers and a video of young MJ singing behind.

Secondly, and as tours are evidently facing logistic issues, some elements of the scenery weren’t took on the road. The squared screen on the top of the stage isn’t there, like the statues on Thriller or some costumes and wigs of the Jacksons 5 years to name a few. You’ ll just notice it if you already saw the West end production, but nothing is missing for an excellent show!

An incredible energy and cohesion between cast members

Friday 27th of January was the opening for this Thriller Live tour and cast. If many of the cast members are used to perform the musical, it’s the first time they’re all reunited in this team. No doubt they rehearsed a lot to provide a show of such a quality.

They faced a few imperfections for the opening but let’s say it was only some missing adjustments as the next day everything went perfectly : Tyrone Henry arrived on stage on time to start singing his part on “Don’t stop ’til you get enough”! At the very begining of the show, some pressure was perceptible, certainly due to a last minute mishap as the show started a few minutes late because of a technical issue.

Finally the energy really won. Their cohesion is truly impressive for a new cast and maybe a bit more than in the London production. Lots of fun, smiles, accomplice gestures,… They all support each other every second they’re on stage and that’s one reason that makes Thriller Live a very powerful show! Let’s attribute a special mention to the brilliant Ria Horsford who already succeeded in taking her role of lead female vocal over.

A message on the agenda more than ever

Having seen Thriller Live many times now, I felt like these recent performances sounded particularly emotional. Unfortunately still in the spirit of the times, last songs including “Man in the mirror”, “They don’t care about us”, “Earth song” and “Black or white” had a very specific resonance regarding the last politic events. It’s always a special moment in shows as the whole cast is on stage and choregraphies are set to be powerful and striking. These days more than ever…

Thank you for making Michael Jackson’s music and message living on in such a powerful way!

And if this review make you wanting to see the show, you can book tickets and watch it in one of their stops. Find all dates of the Thriller Live European tour here.

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