BWW Review: THRILLER LIVE, King's Theatre, Glasgow

BWW Review: THRILLER LIVE, King's Theatre, Glasgow

BWW Review: THRILLER LIVE, King's Theatre, GlasgowNot all shows are made equal. This is especially true for Thriller Live, which returns to Glasgow's King's Theatre this week as part of its current UK tour.

Bringing the music and dance of the legendary Michael Jackson to the small stage, the show features hits such as "Smooth Criminal", "The Earth Song" and "Billie Jean".

But despite an incredible back catalogue to choose from, and a nine-year production history, the show never really captivates its audience the way it should.

This production isn't quite "Bad" (oh yes - Jackson puns incoming), but committing the cardinal sin of instructing its audience to rise from their seats only a handful of songs in isn't a great start.

To say the unsuspecting crowd aren't warmed up by this point is an understatement; what follows is an awkward clap-along more befitting to a matinee on a cruise ship than a night at the theatre.

A lacklustre ensemble provides half-hearted dance routines, which are at best a tribute and at worst insulting to Jackson's perfectionist reputation.

Their baffling choice of costume is often as distracting as a lack of synchronicity. There are moments when it's clear that "They Don't Care About Us", which is rather an insult to the lead singers who are much more enthused to be on stage.

The music takes centre stage in this production, however, so sins are easy absolved. The list of hits does not stop, and quieter moments - like "She's Out Of My Life" - are well positioned against big rock numbers.

Despite some unforgivable gripes, it would be wholly unfair to completely chastise this production. Can You Feel It? Well, yes actually. Thriller Live boasts a line-up of stellar singers who provide incredible vocal performances of some of Jackson's greatest hits.

Adriana Louise makes her professional musical theatre debut and will clearly be one to watch. Offering an extraordinary range and stage command, she takes pride of place at the centre of the action.

These songs are legendary for a reason and each principal has a palpable love of Jackson's music. None can live up to the legend of Jackson himself, but neither can any be faulted for their own performance.

Thriller Live boasts more white socks than your average washing line and an indisputable passion for Michael Jackson. With a 'killer' closing sequence that brings the show back to life, this does end up better than a night at home with a Jackson best-of.

Thriller Live at Glasgow's King's Theatre until 26 May, then touring

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From This Author Fraser MacDonald

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