19-24 October 2015
Reviewed by Becky Speller
I have been a massive Michael Jackson fan for as long as I remember to the point where when I was about 9 I wanted to marry him!!!!! (I am 40 now). I knew all the dance moves and words to all his greatest hits. I am even still known to watch the full version of the Thriller video on You Tube now.
The Waterside Theatre is a lovely venue in the middle of Aylesbury. There is a large car park opposite and a wetherspoons where you can get a nice reasonably priced pre-show meal. The staff at the theatre are friendly and helpful and it has a lovely cosy feel to it. Myself and my friend had fantastic seats and were both looking forward to the show.
There are 4 Michael Jacksons to begin with one of which is a woman which seemed a bit weird. They start by singing some of the Jackson 5 classics. I have to say I was not overly impressed with the guy’s voices, but the lady singer was fantastic and had a slight sound of Michael to her voice. However I think she was possibly miming at some points during the performance of Blame it on the Boogie.
The show then goes on and the cast perform Michael’s greatest hits travelling through the decades. There is no particular story to the show just a celebration of the King of Pop’s music.
In a few of the songs a dancer comes out and does the classic Michael Jackson moves, moonwalk etc., however as far as I could see he wasn’t singing and just did a bit of miming. At the end of the show this mystery 5th Michael appeared which was a little strange as he only made the odd appearance during the show. That said he was a fantastic dancer, and myself and my friend were seriously impressed with ‘Smooth Criminal’ their rendition of this was superb particularly the ‘leaning’ move that Michael did.
Another favourite of mine was ‘I just can’t stop loving you’ which was a fantastic performance.
The major disappointment of the show for me was ‘Thriller’. Bearing in mind that this is the title of the show the ‘zombies’ were not at all convincing and looked if anything slightly funny. It was not a very atmospheric piece which again was a bit of a let-down, given the nature of the song. That said the dance routine in the middle was brilliant and Michael’s dancing was fab. I certainly would not call the show Thriller as it leads you to believe that it is based round the story of ‘Thriller’ when in fact that comes at the end and is not a particularly good likeness of the real thing.
Overall if you are a Michael Jackson fan this is an enjoyable show to watch mainly due to the fact that you can tell the cast love what they do. At times it did have a bit of a holiday park cabaret feel to it though, and I would have been very disappointed if I had paid West End prices for the tickets.
Tickets cost from £20.90 to £35.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Thriller Live is at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury until 24 October 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7607.
Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP20 1UG