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The Bristol Boogies - Michael Jackson at the Hippodrome

Published by: G.D. Mills on 1st Oct 2013 | View all blogs by G.D. Mills

Thriller Live
Bristol Hippodrome
Wed 2nd Oct - Sat 5th Oct




Thriller Live
may have been less than thrilling and at times, one suspects, not quite live, but it was at least an engaging “juke box” exploration of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits, from his earliest years as a boy-wonder in The Jackson Five right through to his box-office wrecking Thriller days. Part tribute act, part super-karaoke, this was a fast moving, hyperactive, colour-drenched show, with stage fireworks thrown in for free.

Cleopatra’s former lead singer Cleo Higgins was among the five vocalists, supported by a troupe of around half a dozen or so feverishly energetic dancers. There was some experimentation with the original music, and the singers took it in turn to emulate, in their own way, the King of Pop, though occasionally there were so many gyrating incarnations of Michael Jackson on stage it was difficult to know where to focus your attention.  

THRILLER.jpg

I was a little peevish about being strong armed into audience participation – Who can shout the loudest? I can’t hear you! One more time! Etc – but then I represented a sedentary minority. With a simple static set and a large bank of ever-flashing LED screens as the backdrop, one did at times yearn for a bit more visual variation, not to mention some form of narrative thrust. A biographical account, however, would have been problematic. How do you render sanitary the life of a figure associated so famously with drugs, weirdness and child abuse?

You can’t. So they didn’t.

Despite my own relative phlegmatism, there was no denying the fervour of those around me. Die-hard Jackson fans, many kitted out in the signature white glove and trilby, screamed and whooped and boogied in the aisles. And there is no refuting the skill of dancers capable of performing the moon walk in sync, or the success of a show capable of engaging audiences from almost every walk of life.

This may not have been The Greatest Show on Earth, but it certainly embraced the spirit of one of the greatest showmen ever to (moon) walk the earth. 
 

Thriller Live
Bristol Hippodrome
Wed 2nd Oct - Sat 5th Oct
http://www.atgtickets.com/venues/bristol-hippodrome/

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