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Thriller Live launches hunt for a West End star

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THRILLER Live, featuring the hits of Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5, opens at the West End’s Lyric Theatre on January 21, 2009 (previews from January 2).

And if you’re ‘a young black African/American or dual heritage boy, aged between 11 and 15, with an excellent unbroken pop/rock voice with a high range’, you could star as the young Michael Jackson.

Think you’ve got what it takes? If so, open auditions are being held on Sunday, November 23, 2008, at the Lyric Theatre. Just turn up to register from 10:30am with a passport-style photo and CV or details of any performing experience you might have had.

And be prepared to sing either Ben, I Want You Back or I’ll Be There.

Thriller Live celebrates the career of Michael Jackson and features the hits I Want You Back, I’ll Be There, Show You the Way to Go, Can You Feel It, Rock with You, She’s Out of My Life, Thriller, Beat It, Ben, ABC, Man in the Mirror, Dirty Diana, Billie Jean, Earth Song and many more.

Thriller Live also includes video footage, plus choreography by the show’s award-winning director Gary Lloyd, who has previously worked with stars such as Leona Lewis, Will Young, Gareth Gates, Emma Bunton, Robbie Williams, Pink, Rachel Stevens and Girls Aloud. Additional choreography is by five-time MTV award-winning La Velle Smith Jnr and Kerys Nathan.

Originally conceived and created by Executive Director of the show, Adrian Grant, a long time associate of Michael Jackson and author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary, Thriller Live is presented by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music and Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.

Speaking about the show, Paul Curran, COO of Sony BMG Music Entertainment UK, said: “The show is a celebration of one of the greatest music catalogues in history. We are thrilled to be involved.”

In an unparalled career, Michael Jackson has sold more than 750 million records, had 13 number one singles (more than any other male artist) and is one of only a few artists who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice – in 1997 as a member of The Jackson 5 and in 2001 as a solo artist.

His numerous other achievements include multiple Guinness World Records, one of which was for Thriller. With 100 million copies sold to date, it’s the world’s best-selling album of all time.

Schedules and Tickets
There will be two performances of Thriller Live on Sundays – at 3pm and 7pm. And, to help beat the credit crunch, top-price tickets will be just £49.50.

Speaking about the decision, Derek Nicol, of Flying Music, said: “Thriller Live is an uplifting, feel-good show with incredible choreography and sensational songs that everyone knows and loves – it’s just the sort of escapist entertainment people need to take their minds off how tough life is at the moment.

Thriller Live has high production values, a large company on stage and a live band – and it delivers high class entertainment that is suitable for everyone from 8 to 80. It’s obvious to us from the recent early closing of West End musicals, cancellation of several planned UK tours, and the number of ticket discounts and promotions, that money is extremely tight and a lot of the current shows are struggling to fill their theatres. We want to make sure that Thriller Live is in the price bracket of as many people as possible.”

Thriller Live runs until April 12, 2009.