Thriller Live/Malvern Theatres


THOSE of us of a certain age who can still just about recall sweat-drenched late 1960s Saturday nights grooving to the sounds of Tamla Motown never dreamt way back then just how far this music of the streets was destined to travel.

But what a journey this became – and all thanks to the genius of the late Michael Jackson, who took the heartbeat of the motor city and for two magical decades arguably made it the definitive soundtrack for our planet.

This earth-shattering show, brought direct from London’s West End, has so far deservedly stretched the famously stunted vocabulary of the nation’s snooty metro reviewers. And little wonder.

Why? Because the production’s sheer brilliance seems almost beyond description… other than to state that this is a pulsating, bass-heavy, disco-tastic monster of a show with a cast that sets the boards ablaze.

In short, this is the ultimate, ultimate tribute. Nothing else this side of our solar system comes anywhere near.

And the undoubted king of the funky, moon-walking moves is Kieran Alleyne, who at the absurdly young age of 23 years seems to be possessed by Jacko’s departed soul.

The trilby hat, the effortless slither across the boards, the crotch-grab… this is one smooth criminal.

Nevertheless, this dancing machine takes time to get into gear. But thanks to a deliriously talented team of vocalists led by Leticia Hector and Britt Quentin, it soon starts to burn the tarmac on that long road down the Jackson years.

This in turn fires up the dancers to even greater efforts as they are propelled by a plectrum-melting, storming guitar-led band that never fails to nail every classic Jackson number.

Verdict? Thriller is bad, off the wall, dangerous to know… and yes, you can definitely blame it on the boogie. Runs until Saturday (June 29).

John Phillpott