Thriller Live – CANCELLED

Theatre, West End
4 out of 5 stars
3 out of 5 stars
(37user reviews)

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

Solid gold hits light up this loosely-plotted celebration of all things Jackson

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, ‘Thriller Live’ has concluded its length West End run, which was already due to end April 26.

Step inside the Lyric foyer and you'll be greeted by a gleaming Michael Jackson memorial. Enter the auditorium and you'll find another in 'Thriller', a shining homage to The King of Pop. This is a sparkling, singing and shimmying conveyor belt of more than 30 of Jackson's greatest hits. It's a bit like watching an extended episode of 'The X Factor' – except the performers are actually very good and they've all picked Jacko.

What really hits home in this jubilant jukebox show, which recently celebrated its thousandth performance, is the range of repertoire available. 'Thriller' is a reminder of Michael Jackson's versatility and the unique gloss he lent to pop, rock, dance and even the ballad. 'Heal the World' is crooned by a throng of suitably seraphic kids, 'Beat It' is blasted into the gods and a silver-gloved groover glides majestically through 'Smooth Criminal'.

The show, held together by the loosest of narratives, begins with a selection of Jackson 5 numbers. These earlier songs are among the best of the night: pure, funky, relatively simple and uniformly upbeat. Salient facts are flashed furiously across the screens (750 million records sold worldwide!) and the show segues into Jackson's solo career.

Some of these later songs are terrifyingly idiosyncratic – made and moulded for the man himself – and the lead vocalists struggle with the quirkier numbers, such as 'Jam' and 'Dirty Diana'. But it is the dancing that dazzles, no more so than Michael Duke's confident and witty take on 'Thriller' and 'Smooth Criminal'. He slides his way through the tough choreography with bolshy ease, drawing huge cheers for the inevitable but inspirational moonwalk.

It is one small step, at least, towards remembering the man who ventured into uncharted musical terrain.

This review of 'Thriller Live' is from June 2011. The current London cast of 'Thriller Live' stars Haydon Eshun (former lead singer of '90s boy band Ultimate Kaos, who were hailed as the new Jackson 5), alongside Alex Ko, John Moabi, Angelica Allen, Dajiow, and Stefan Sinclair.

By: Miriam Gillinson



Users say (37)

3 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

3.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:9
3 people listening

I went to see Thriller at The Lyric seated in row BB in the middle.Hence I was very close to the stage.When the show started with the opening songs and frantic dancing I thought Wow these are very good singers....A few songs later I thought I feel there is something wrong here...then BAM it hit me: For most of the songs the singers are miming or what is otherwise known as lip-syncing to pre-recorded songs and music. Not every song, a few slow numbers I think were live but the bulk of the songs are miming.By the interval my shock had turn to anger as I paid for 2 tickets at around £100 each.For this money I expect live singers.I left at the interval feeling ripped-off.

I was so disappointed with this show, I’m not sure what I was expecting but it certainly wasn’t this! It starts with a few Jackson 5 hits sung by 3 guys and 1 woman. The singers are good as are the dancers but I found the whole show very confusing. I couldn’t understand why there were various people singing the part of MJ, it was quite odd. When MJ was on stage he looked great and the dancing was brilliant but he didn’t sing.

The staging was really bad too, non existent really. It wa like watching a MJ tribute band, no real storyline and quite amateur. It’s a shame as the singers and dancers were very good it just didn’t work as a production.


I enjoyed this musical but it can't be compared to others like Book of Mormon, Aladdin, Kinky Boots, Matilda. I liked the music (it's michael Jackson so no surprise) but the acting was quite poor combined with the fact there was basically no story, overall quite disappointing. 


A tribute to the king of pop, Michael Jackson, that is a continious party in West End. This musical will get you off your seat to sing along and dance to all the famous Jackon's songs. Starting with his early career & Jackson 5 till the latest hits. A great team of singers delivers excellently this performance. If you expect to see someone to perfectly impersonate Michael Jackson (as per Las Vegas shows), you will be disappointed. This is not a documentary of his life; it is just party to celebrate what Michael Jackson gave to his fans all these years.

Saturday 27 May 2017.

Very disappointing. Would not recommend anyone to see this show. If you want to close your eyes for a good few hours & listen to Michael Jackson then fine. However, if you want to see a tribute to Michael Jackson then don't bother. Why is there a woman imitating MJ when there are thousands of impersonators out there? Also during the song 'rocking robin' why did they show a video of one of the young performers when again there must be thousands of child impersonators that could be on the stage (I saw an excellent one in Motown a few months earlier).

And where were the understudies???? A few of the backing female dancers danced as if they wanted to be somewhere else. The three male MJ singers sang very well and the actual MJ impersonator was good and his dancing was excellent. It's just a shame he wasn't on the stage all the time. The cost did not justify the overall performance which was such a shame as this was my birthday present, I would accept a refund!

Worst Westend show I've ever seen. No storyline, awful dancing choreography, singers on Mallorca karaoke quality level (after a bucket of Sangria), women who can't walk in high heels pretending to be Michael Jackson and really, really bad acting. Michael Jackson must spin in his grave every night when watching low quality singing children pretending to be Jackson 5 and low quality dancer failing to do the moonwalk. Last not least, the stage is dirty, scratched and with cheap budget LED displays and extremely bad sound quality. A perfectionist like Michael Jackson would have NEVER allowed this to happen during his lifetime.

PS: Door staff at the entrance are extremely unfriendly, not helpful and not professional at all, treating audience like kettle rather than paying customers. 

Utterly disappointing evening, almost disgusting... 😡😡😡

Appalling poor show in a run down theatre. This is without doubt the worst show I've gone to in thirty years of the west end. The actors or singers were poor and lack lustre at best. The venue itself was freezing cold with people having to put on coats in the middle of the show . It is also incredibly run down as a theatre. There are plenty of really good shows in the west end. With this one you get the feeling that it's there to get your money and then they don't care. My regret is not leaving at the interval when a load of others evidently did.


Different from your traditional musicals. This show doesn't have a storyline but rather works it's way through MJ's greatest hits. It's more of a tribute act than a West End show so if you're looking for the real deal, this show isn't for you. If you want some Saturday night entertainment then this show might fit the bill. With its catchy tunes, you're bound to be up on your feet and signing along.

Don't waste your money with this show. For the same money you can get a much better experience in any other musical. In fact, this is not really a musical, there is no story line, no theater production and the "actors" talk to the audience because in reality, it's just a show with people dancing to the music of MJ, while some presenters tell you how many albums Thriller and Bad sold, as if MJ is only a cash cow and his artistic and innovative achievements are of no importance, only figures matter. TERRIBLE AND DISRESPECTFUL!! Small stage, cheap production, average singing and they take ages to pass through the J5 years to get to MJ solo career. It is super boring and unbearable really, you will walk out for sure (only children can enjoy this)


As you can probably guess from the title, this musical features the classic music from the undisputed king of pop and legend, Michael Jackson. Being a big fan I have seen this twice. First time wasn't too memorable it was a bit X factor like for my liking but going back again recently I really enjoyed this and not sure whether they have changed the format slightly since. Now don't expect a standard musical storyline or storytelling, there is none. This is simply a showcase of some of his most memorable songs and videos performed by a fantastic cast. To some it may come across as musical tribute or karaoke like but the dancers and the singers are super talented it is almost like going a gig where the cast are sure to try and get everyone up and dancing. Young Jackson gets a round of applause especially with the finale of black and white. I thoroughly enjoyed all the numbers and the tunes are so catchy that it's impossible to avoid singing and dancing along. Watch out for the spectacular guitar rocking solos in the middle of Beat It. The Ghouls coming out to play during Thriller dance. Amazing Billie Jean and of course the incredible Moonwalk.

I'm sorry, but this is the worst musical I've ever been. There is no storytelling, the dancers are bad and the Michal Jackson cover is far from a Micharl Jackson cover. You have to be a fanatic for Jackson to enjoy this show, otherwise don't loose your time.

Singing and dancing was amazing but was like watching a mj tribute band, not worth the cost of the ticket at all!

My wife and I went to this show after receiving tickets as a present. As fans of Michael Jacksons music we loved it as the show covers all the classic songs you want to get up and dance along to. The story line isn't really there but for me, it didn't stop me enjoying it as the singing and music was excellent. Really impressed with the dancing. I would say half the audience was in to it and the other half sat there. I imagine if you went to a showing full of Jackson fans it would be an awesome experience. If you like the music, it is worth seeing this show.

Im not a Michael Jackson fan but my wife is so bought Tickets as a surprise on our recent trip to London

Fantastic show Good singers and Brilliant Dancers

Little MJ Probably star of the show all in all a great night


Not much of a storyline, but great dancing and songs if you a a MJ fan. By the end of the show, the whole audience were up on their feet dancing. It was a great feel good musical.

moderatorStaff Writer

The show starts slowly, and if you're not a die-hard Jacko fan, some of the first half will go over your head, but the second half (mainly hits from Thriller and Bad) was great.  The dancing and choreography was top class.  For the most part the singing was good.  Don't go if you expect a storyline - there is none, and doesn't pretend to be.  Go for an opportunity to sing along, and be delighted by slick choreography.  Be warned - they will try (and succeed!) to get you out of your seat!

There is absolutely no storyline - the only good moments of this show are when you can laugh about incredibly akward moments. Most of it is just a constant facepalm though.

What a spectacular performance absolutely brilliant, the whole cast did a fabulous job, as for anyone who only rated one star must have had they eyes closed throughout!! It was a very enjoyable evening I would certainly recommend it, I would see it again. Yvonne. Aug 30th 2014

Sorry but its a 3 out of 10 show.... Several members of the cast sing various Jackson songs. Annoying the worst singer (who is a young female) gets to sing the majority of the songs. A couple of the guys do good Jackson impersonations. Could not understand why the show was not based around them?? Young Michael is portrayed by a kid who I'm sorry to say was as poor as the ffemale mentioned above. The cast do get the crowd going with some good dance routines. Sorry but I wanted to leave after the interval but my wife made me stay...Sorry but I would not sit through this again. Even if you paid me £100

Very enjoyable, but the name musical doesn't really apply here. I would say it's more of a show and a thank you to Michael and his music. Still, very good night out and the audience really goes for it!

First class performance, first class show, if your having a theater w/k end, its a must

A fantastic performance from all performers and overall a great thrilling entertainment to watch! I highly recommend it to any MJ fans out there! :)

The musical exceed the expectation, a lot of interaction, the dancer were extremely well trained and the singers voices were great. I like the fact that the show was not trying to be Michael Jackson, but present his art on their own interpretation. It does bring memory on growing up listening to Michael. This show is a must if you are visiting or living in London.

The musical was very good in general. All the artists, dances and songs were amazing. What I found very nice was that they were trying to engage the audience as much as possible in the play. The only thing I didn't enjoy that much was simply that there wasn't any story in it but mostly dances and singing.

Good performances and nice atmosphere. Not any storyline or great scenery, Felt more like a tribute concert than a musical.

Fulfilled by the energy and spirit of the legendary personality and songs that are alive in all of us in different degrees, the musical leads you through different emotions starting from the tears of the soul and finishing up with the joy of being a part of the musical event.

Absolutely brilliant!! Daughter, aged 8 totally enthralled with the whole experience and hasn't stopped practicing the dancing since. My other guest was delighted with the show, as it was all music they knew as a youngster. Loved the way the audience were encouraged to join in by the stars of the show.

Absolutely fabulous from start to finish. We attended mid-week and there was no hint of a dumbing down by the cast. Very enthusiastic dancing and spot of choreography. The singing was exceptional. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole show. Got us all dancing and clapping in the isles. Would recommend to anybody. Great show!

Fantastic! Thoroughly enjoyed the performance! Gave a real feel good factor. Brilliant performers! A must see for MJ fans!

We've been to this show twice... second time was the day we were supposed to see the King of Pop in flesh at the O2 Arena. So, of course it's not a big production, it's not MJ etc... but it is very nice to watch and certainly entertaining. If you're a MJ fan, you'll enjoy it, 100%.

We took our two sons to the show and I was initially sceptical, awaiting a poor storyline to which the songs were attached. I was very pleasantly surprised and realised there were several of MJ hits I had not heard for a while. What was good was that the songs were about 3-4 minutes and followed MJs recording career. The singing is good but the dancing is what really lifted this show. The dancers were very good and the choreography was well adapted to the stage where props were wheeled in and out. Expect to hear the greatest hits without a phoney story line and great dancing.

I would not recommend this musical. I am very disappointed by the bad performance of the actors, in terms of dancing and singing. Some of the singers did not even hit the right note and sang wrong. There is no real story in the musical, no emotions involved. It appears to be just a patchwork of some fragments of Jackson songs, some of them even played on playback. I personally rather recommend to watch the Billy Elliot Musical, that one is really good.

I saw the show today... Very disapointing. The dancers despite being individually good are not togher, the singers sing wrong...Would not recommend it personnaly.

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