THRILLER LIVE Becomes Longest-Running Show At The Lyric
Lyric Theatre owner Nica Burns strikes a Michael Jackson pose with actors Ramon Mariqueo Smith and David Jordan to celebrate Thriller Live becoming the longest running show at the venue since it first opened in December 1888.
Nica, Chief Executive of Nimax Theatres, appeared on stage at the end of the 1,815th
performance to announce to the packed audience: "You are part of history being made tonight. Michael Jackson won so many amazing awards and set some impressive records in his lifetime - and he continues to do that today! This is my theatre, and I'm delighted to anounce that Thriller Live has become the longest running show in its 125-year history."
She then presented trophies from Nimax Theatres to mark the momentous occasion to Producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol of Flying Music, the show's award-winning Director/Choreographer Gary Lloyd, Musical Supervisor John Maher and to Original Creator AdrIan Grant, whose personal association with Michael Jackson spanned 21 years and who first came up with the concept for the show.
Gary Lloyd paid tribute to the dozens of singers and dancers who have performed in the West End production before over one million customers, and to the backstage staff, technicians, designers and crew who, he said, had all played a vital part in the success of the show, but largely go unseen by the public.
Thriller Live has shattered the previous long-standing record held by Cameron Mackintosh's production of 5 Guys Named Moe.
"London theateregoers and visitors to the city have truly embraced Thriller Live," said Paul Walden. "It is incredibly heartwarming that Thriller Live, now in its fifth year, is playing to some of the most enthusiastic audiences of its West End run, and it is thanks to those audiences that we have been able to smash this record. Recent sales have exceeded our expectations, telling us that the West End does not want to say goodbye to Thriller Live any time soon!" The show is currently booking to 16 March, 2014.
Producers recently enhanced the show by introducing an exciting new opening featuring new video material and graphics. Thriller Live has now thrilled more than 2.3 million people worldwide after playing in 26 countries, including Germany, Japan, Italy, Poland, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, Singapore, South Africa, China, Sweden, Finland and Norway.
Thriller Live moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours. It is currently also on tour in Brazil.
Unlike other West End productions, Thriller Live is not a rigid book musical with set songs, but is a constantly evolving music concert celebration. When Michael Jackson died, the Lyric Theatre became a focus for fans from all over the world, who created a massive shrine of flowers, candles, and tributes. More than 40 books of condolence were signed in the foyer then sent to the Jackson family. A year after his death, a permanent West End memorial to Michael was unveiled in the theatre foyer.
Thriller Live brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop's greatest hits, blending eye-popping video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography. The show has regularly been updated with additional songs, new visuals and choreography.
To date, more than 30 young boys have so far sung the hits of the young MJ in the West End and around the world. The need to have six available at any one time has led the producers of Thriller Live to launch a training academy to develop boys for the role of the young Michael. The MJ Academy opened its doors for the first time on Friday 9 November, 2012. Would-be MJs get classes in singing and dancing every Friday between 5pm and 8pm, with terms lasting three months.
Ramon Mariqueo Smith, who sang the songs of the young MJ last night, was one of the first graduates of the MJ Academy.