Why THRILLER LIVE! (UK Tour) is really not what I'm looking for in a 'musical'

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably already know that I walked out of the theatre the other night feeling thoroughly disappointed in what I'd just seen. The show in question was of course the Michael Jackson-inspired 'musical' THRILLER LIVE! that's been playing in London for over 6 years now and recently embarked on its second national tour since its permanent West End settlement.

Out of intrigue as to why this so called 'musical' was playing so successfully in London, I decided to give the show a gander and I soon realised that not only was this show not my cup of tea, but I equally failed to understand what on Earth made this show think it had the capability to try and label itself as a 'musical'.

For those who haven't seen the show before or have no idea what the show is about, it is essentially a revue of Michael Jackson songs performed by different 'lead vocalists' (as they are billed in the programme) while other performers dance along and make the show good fun. This is actually rather enjoyable, especially with songs like Thriller and Smooth Criminal when the cast dress up to suit the song and you feel like you're journeying through the song's original music video with them. However, this does equally manage to hit a few flaws along the way as well. For starters, it would really help if all of the lead vocalists managed to emulate the proper feel of a Michael Jackson song with at least *some* gusto. Cleopatra Higgins was the only female lead vocalist performing and she was absolutely sublime; every song she sang was sung with perfection and flair and she was my saving grace throughout the entire show. Not only that but she was an incredible dancer to watch as well and her overall stage presence made me hate the situation I was in much less. Nonetheless, there were weaker members of the show's leading performers that really brought the show down entirely - it's pretty disappointing when Dirty Diana becomes "Dirty Di..." because the lead vocalist can't quite manage the adopt The King of Pop's wide vocal range.

I also failed to understand why on Earth they felt they could call the show a 'musical' when there was absolutely nothing about the show that suggested it is a musical. They made the lead vocalists come on stage and share a short bit of MJ's backstory three times throughout the entire show and that was in in regards to story... That is not a musical! That is literally the definition of a revue because THERE WAS NO STORY! Why would you advertise the show to the world as being a musical when it was not a musical!?!? *calms self down* ...So annoying!

The show also made me realise that so many of Michael Jackson's songs sound exactly the same, especially when they're one next to the other and performed the way they were. Weirdly, it also managed to feel quite dated (I say weirdly because there was a real push for it too look Back-to-the-Future-esque futuristic on several occasions but I guess that analogy sums it all up really: those films are over 30 years old). It just wasn't for me to say the least and maybe if you're a die-hard Michael Jackson fan then you'll love it so much more than I did, but this really isn't one of the regular theatregoer.

As my Grandma said at the end of the show "If I don't hear another Michael Jackson song in my life, it'll be too soon" and quite right too; this show is a force-feeding session of Michael Jackson hits in the most unoriginal and repetitive way they could've possibly imagined.

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