REVIEW: Thriller Live, The Mayflower

Perhaps the biggest tribute you can pay Thriller Live is that if Michael Jackson were still around to see it, he would probably approve.

The cast and production team have done Jacko proud in this wonderful, uplifting, colourful, vibrant celebration of his career.

It’s much more of a concert than a musical, yet much more than a tribute concert.

Thriller Live charts Jackson’s career in a way that, as the audience are told, shows that as well as being the King of Pop, he was equally deserving of the titles of the King of Rock’n’Roll and the King of Soul.

A variety of vocalists are used to deliver many of Jackson’s most famous songs, and none of the performers is a weak link.

The same can be said of the well-drilled dancers and the superb orchestra.

Some short bits of narrative aside, Thriller Live is unashamedly all about the Jackson back catalogue.

The costumes and dance moves have been painstakingly researched and cleverly interpreted, while the visual effects add an extra dimension to what is effectively a simple set on the Mayflower stage.

There’s plenty of audience participation - in fact, the cast probably don’t have to work too hard to get the crowd out of their seats and singing, clapping and dancing along to tunes that are a big part of pop history.

By the end, you realise just how many hits - across four decades and spanning several different musical genres - Jackson brought to the world.

His work is certainly deserving of this sort of attention - and Thriller Live is deserving of the right to go down as a fitting tribute to one of music’s all-time greats.

Until Saturday, June 25 at The Mayflower, Southampton.

STEVE BONE