13-18 June 2016
Reviewed by Helen Wyatt
Tonight we were given the opportunity to experience Thriller Live at Torquay’s Princess Theatre. The show has come from the West End and has been put together to celebrate and showcase Michael Jackson’s musical career, spanning many musical genres from Motown to disco, pop and beyond.
Michael has been described as the King of Pop, and the show promised over two hours of non-stop hits; it certainly didn’t disappoint. Split into two acts, the first half of the show covered MJ’s earlier hits with the Jackson 5, and solo, such as ABC, Shake your body, Dangerous, and can you feel it. The second act moved into MJ’s later career, spanning such chart toppers as Beat It, Smooth Criminal, Man in the mirror, Earth Song, and Thriller.
The show is led by 5 main vocal artists – Sean, Shaquille, Cleopatra, Adam, and Rory, supported by a number of quality vocalists and dancers. Sean acts as Michael Jackson, and whilst the lip-syncing was off at the start, the dancing and dress were spot on, with every signature move down to a T. Later, Sean took to the mic proper, and gave a convincing vocal performance as well so I don’t know why he lip synced at the start. Every tiny detail was covered, from the taped fingers, to the fedora, and the short trousers with white socks.
Rory’s voice is superb. He is off the charts fantastic. His energy and enthusiasm for the role were second to none, and his vocal tones were absolutely en pointe. Rory delivered every time he was on stage, whether in a lead role or supporting one of the others.
Cleopatra was amazing. You would be forgiven for thinking her voice was Michael’s at times. She gave her all to her performance, and certainly had her stage strut down!
Shaquille and Adam were really the life and soul of the show, bringing fabulously timed performances and spot on renditions of the hits. They got the audience going, and really warmed everyone up to the show with audience participation.
Rory, Shaquille, Cleopatra and Adam joined together in close harmony often, stunning the audience with their skills. They were entrancing to watch and to listen to.
The dancers were mesmerising – the number of costume changes took your breath away, and with bodies to die for they were all fantastic to watch. There was always something going on, on stage, and the precision of the moves was beautiful. The energy was intense throughout, and every cast member had a smile on their face throughout; it was easy to believe they were thoroughly enjoying themselves.
As ever, the audience were very “British” about getting into the show until near the end, but we were on our feet soon enough, dancing and singing away to the hits.
If you’re looking for a show stopper, filled with hits, lights, dancing, and most importantly lots of sequins, then this is most definitely the show for you. A hugely entertaining production from beginning to end, despite the slightly iffy lip syncing at the start. Sean as MJ really came into his own towards the end of Act 2 when he showed off his skills and ability to fully embrace the Michael character. We were even treated to the famous “lean”, a number of moonwalks, and the fabulous Thriller zombie dance.
Accompanied by a live band, this is a truly awesome show, which will have you tapping your toes and clapping along in no time.
The theatre is situated in a gorgeous sea-front location, with easy access to parking and restaurants. You can stop for a bite to eat before the show, and there are plenty of bars to have a drink, or pre-order your interval drinks.
Tickets cost from £21.65 to £36.65 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Thriller Live is at the Princess Theatre in Torquay until 18 June 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3023.
Princess Theatre, Torbay Road, Torquay, TQ2 5EZ | 0844 871 3023