New dancers join Thriller Live cast in the West End

THRILLER LIVE 2017 New Dancers small

New dancers join the cast of Thriller Live

Eight young dancers are making their West End debuts in the record-breaking Thriller Live at London’s Lyric Theatre.

The new cast members have all secured 12-month contracts with the show which will ensure they are part of the 10th anniversary celebrations planned for January 2018.

Unveiling details of the new dancers, the show’s award-winning director and choreographer Gary Lloyd said: “Dancers are the beating heart of our production, and with over 30 iconic Michael Jackson songs and epic dance routines, Thriller Live is one of the most physically demanding productions ever seen in the West End.

“We work hard to maintain the highest of standards as we deliver routines based on iconic moves created by the greatest entertainer of all time, who himself always strived for excellence and pushed the physical limits of what his body could produce.

“I am thrilled and excited at the quality of our new dancers whose energy and commitment to the memory of Michael Jackson is inspirational. This show is a gift to anyone that lives to dance and for anyone that loves to entertain or be entertained.”

The newcomers are: Peter Cleverley who joins the cast as dancer and assistant dance captain after touring with Thriller Live in Germany, Sweden, Egypt, Israel, China and in the UK; Brett Baxter makes his professional debut after training with hip hop dance company Elementz Entertainment run by former Thriller Live cast member Lindon Barr; Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts graduate Shakara Brown arrives in the West End after touring with Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) winners Diversity as part of all-female hip hop company Boadicea; former street dancer Joel Ekperigin joins the Thriller line-up after performing at the 2016 Brit awards and on BGT as part of dancer group Cerebo; a founding member of entertainment group PDK, Jamie Mason has danced on The X Factor and on the Disney Channel; Ella Redhead makes her West End debut after graduating from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts; Emma Jane Smith’s previous credits include the UK/Monte Carlo tour of New Jersey Nights; and Jorgia Vaughan trained at Sidcup’s Bird College where she recently graduated with a National Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre.

Also re-joining the cast is Eshan Gopal, one of the original MJs who went on to join the cast of Motown for its UK premiere.

The current Thriller Live West End company includes: Angelica Allen, Dajiow, Haydon Eshun, Alex Ko, John Moabi, Stefan Sinclair, Reece Bahia, Cordell Mosteller, Ione Townsend, Aisling Duffy, Florivaldo Mossi, Ella Coghill, Jamal Crawford, Ashley-Jordon Packer, Sophie Usher, Aled Arhyel Charles, Andre Faulds, Remi Gooding, Eshan Gopal, Roshawn Hewitt and Marcellus Virgo Smith.

The band consists of musical director John Maher (guitar 2, keyboard 2), assistant musical director Ryan Alex Farmery (keyboard 1), Damien Cooper (guitar 1), Oliver Latka (bass guitar), Mike Bradley (drums) and Accy Yeats (percussion).

Inspired by the life and music of Michael Jackson, Thriller Live recently announced a new West End booking period, taking the show up to April 2018. Now in its ninth year at the Lyric Theatre, the inventive show became the 15th longest-running West End musical of all time in March.

The longest-running production in the Lyric’s 125-year history, the newest version of the show with new elements including songs costumes and special effects was launched at the venue two years ago.

Thriller Live, which is choreographed and directed by award-winning Gary Lloyd, was originally conceived and created by Adrian Grant, an associate of Michael Jackson and the author of Michael Jackson – The Visual Documentary. It is produced by Paul Walden and Derek Nicol for Flying Music in association with Adrian Grant for Key Concerts.

The creative team includes original concept and executive director Adrian Grant; musical supervisor and head arranger John Maher; set designer Jonathan Park; lighting designer Nigel Catmur; associate lighting designer Matt Lee; video content designer Colin Rozee; costume stylists and supervisors Shooting Flowers; sound designer Chris Whybrow; casting director Debbie O’Brien; associate choreographer Yasmin Yazdi; associate choreographer: Jo Dyce; media programmer Sam MacLaren; and original choreographer for ‘Dangerous’ LaVelle Smith Jnr.

Thriller Live is currently resident on a return visit to the People’s Republic of China, in a brand new state-of-the-art 1,200-seat theatre at the new Parisian Hotel Macau, where in 2016 it was honoured to be chosen as the opening production.

A new UK tour launches in the autumn, visiting: The Anvil, Basingstoke (October 20 and 21); The Hawth, Crawley (23-28 October); Embassy, Skegness (31 October-4 November); Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline (9-11 November); Grand Theatre, Blackpool (13-18 November); Theatre Royal, Bath (27 November-2 December), and Guildhall, Portsmouth (27-31 December).

There will be further UK dates in 2018 announced soon. The tour will also visit Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Angela Thomas

Tickets for Thriller Live are available HERE.

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