Newest Review: ... I was happy to see. The deal included a pre-show dinner and this was at the Raddison Edwardian Hampshire Hotel on the south side of Le... more
Don't stop, we've not had enough
Member Name: grahamt
Advantages: An enjoyable trip though the life of Michael Jackson, in song
Disadvantages: Doesn't include all of his best-known songs
I haven't had a lot of success in the past with Red Letter Days. My wife bought me a driving day some years ago; it was rained off, after I had trekked all the way to Silverstone! This year she bought me a London show plus dinner; I checked out all of the shows they were offering (you don't get a free choice, only those for which they have obviously negotiated cheap tickets) but we had already seen almost all of them.
I left a choice nearly too late: they only give you a certain amount of time before the deal expires. Eventually, just days before it would be too late I discovered that Thriller Live had been added to the list; this I was happy to see.
The deal included a pre-show dinner and this was at the Raddison Edwardian Hampshire Hotel on the south side of Leicester Square. Nominally the meal was booked for 6.00pm, giving us an hour and a half. In fact we turned up at 5.30pm and they were happy to give us a table. The meal was actually very enjoyable and I would e more than happy to eat there again.
We turned up at the theatre (the Lyric on Shaftesbury Avenue) with a half hour to go and so were able to take our time. We had decent seats in the stalls with a good view of the stage. By the start of the show it was clear that it was going to be pretty well a full house.
We didn't know what to expect but it very soon became clear that this was not a show along the lines of "Mama Mia" or "We Will Rock You". This is not an attempt to manufacture a story based upon the lyrics of famous Michael Jackson songs: it's quite simply the story of his career in pop to the theme of an almost continuous performance of his well-known and also lesser-known songs.
The cast consists mostly of performers of whom you have probably never heard. Be that as it may, all of them are quality professionals, even the very young members of the cast, and the backing band. In fact, the best of all of them is actually the female lead singer, Trenyce, who is, apparently, a US X Factor finalist. I can understand why.
This is essentially a feel-good show for fans of Michael Jackson and on that score it in general it doesn't disappoint. I probably could have done without the "community singing" attempts at audience inclusion but that would be being picky. I suspect that the audience would spontaneously have been on its feet for the big numbers.
The only song that I did feel didn't entirely do itself justice was, ironically, "Thriller"! Left to very near the end, it did come over a little flat although most of the audience seemed to more than enjoy it so, perhaps that was just me.
Overall we did very much enjoy the show and I can certainly recommend it for anyone looking for an enjoyable night at the theatre in the West End.
Summary: An extravagansa of Michael Jackson songs, performed by a very talented cast
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