Thriller Live, the West End show inspired by the work of Michael Jackson, is to mark the first anniversary of his death with a memorial at the Lyric theatre and by releasing a single in aid of War Child.
Leading street dance group Diversity, which rose to fame on Britain’s Got Talent, will join the cast on 24 June to unveil the memorial plaque for the recording artist dubbed the King of Pop. The dance troupe had been booked to appear alongside Jackson as part of the shows at the O2 Arena that Jackson died before being able to perform.
Before the performance of Thriller Live on 25 June, the first anniversary of Jackson’s death, six of the boys who have played the young Michael Jackson in the West End show will debut new single Speechless – The Tribute, a cover of a track from Jackson’s 2001 Invincible album. James Anderson, Jean-Mikhael Baque, Kieran Alleyne, Kuan Frye, Mitchell Zhangazha and MJ Mytton-Sanneh recorded the song, with supporting vocals from older members of the Thriller Live cast, from which all proceeds will be donated to the charity War Child.
Speaking about the single, Thriller Live Director Adrian Grant said: “I wanted to do something positive to mark the one year anniversary of Michael’s passing. Of course we could never look to improve upon the original. This song is heavenly and is all about Michael’s amazing vocal. Michael loved songs with emotions and a message, with a sense of immortality. He once told me, ‘I like there to be some depth in the lyrics as well as a melodic simpleness that the whole world can sing them.’ Speechless is one of Michael’s records that is simple yet powerfully effective. The sentiment behind the song, and what it now means to me in Michael’s passing, truly reflects the emotions one feels due to his loss – those of sadness, but also remembering the joy he gave the world as we celebrate his life.”
Thriller Live opened at London’s Lyric theatre in January 2009 following success and acclaim as a touring production. The show pays tribute to the artist who began his career as the youngest member of the Jackson 5 before becoming one of the most loved entertainers in history. Among his timeless tunes included in the show are Can You Feel It, ABC, Beat It, Thriller and Billie Jean.