Thriller, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
For Flying Music
Gary Lloyd (director/choreographer), John Maher (music supervision), Nigel Catmur (lighting), Chris Whybrow (sound)
Andrew Derbyshire, Oggie, John Moabi, Samantha Johnson, Michael Duke
Running time

This sensationally slick piece of theatre is a fitting tribute to the work of the late Michael Jackson.

‘Thriller’ brings the concept of nostalgia to the younger generation. While older people are used to see ageing rockers and groups from the sixties still plying their trade, this is a step back into recent memories, although I can confess to remembering when ‘Ben’ was played at the Youth Club disco back in the 70’s.

Michael Jackson was the master of the pop video and the producers have lavished great attention to detail to recreate some of the images of his iconic productions. Achieving such a high standard of lighting and the use of movie screens at the rear of the stage gives credence to the ‘direct from the west end claim.’

There is no one performer playing Michael Jackson but several from the young boy (Torann Opara/Emmanuel Sakyi) to older singers including the excellent Samantha Johnson.

Andrew Derbyshire certainly captures the voice really well and Oggie and John Moabi are also flawless in their delivery. Michael Duke as lead dancer as well as a lead vocalist probably has the honour of the title song but it is difficult to know who did what.

Generally the vocals were very good, backed up by an excellent live band and they were more than adequately supported by very talented and energetic dancers. Some of the dancing brought roars of approval from an audience of mainly ‘Jackson devotees’ but you have to admire top class dancing when you see it.

The show had a first act of less than 50 minutes followed by a 25-minute interval and out before 10pm so it is not the longest show in the world.

If you are a ‘Jackson’ fan you will enjoy this show as the nearest you will get to see and experience the ‘moonwalk’ live. As a visitor in town looking for a show, you will be impressed with the presentation even if you cannot share the enthusiasm for what is a tribute concert with a timeline but no story.

Runs to 4th May