Sources: Hull Daily Mail | All Things Michael
Michael Joseph Jackson sold 750 million records worldwide, was awarded 13 Grammy awards, 26 American Music Awards and his albums collectively spent 4,458 weeks in the Billboard charts – all before his death in 2009.
Jackson earned $125m in 1989 alone from endorsements and album sales, the Bad World Tour sold 4.4 million tickets, Thriller spent 211 weeks in the US charts and $60m of sales from We Are The World was donated to Africa’s famine relief.
Within one year of his untimely death, 35 million albums were sold, and Jackson even released a posthumous record.
Strong work. Shamone.
But, whether you be a fan of old, who allowed his music to be at the forefront as the soundtrack to your younger days, or a newcomer to the Jackson world, there is still chance to see his masterpieces, through the power of theatre.
Created for the West End in January 2009, Thriller promises to fill two and a half hours of your life with hits that pay homage to Jackson’s unprecedented 45-year career, and has been hailed as well worth the watch.
But you can put your Megabus tickets away, as the show is coming to us.
Straight from its seventh year at the top of the charts, Thriller will be descending upon the city from Monday, for a six-date run, and won’t stop until you get enough.
One cast member is particularly enamoured with singing her hero’s hits.
“Michael is the one person in my life who really steered where I was going,” says Cleo Higgins, who found fame as one-third of Nineties girl group Cleopatra.
“I must have cried every day for a year when he died. I felt so attached to him through his music.”
Cast as one of four lead singers in the production, performing live should come naturally to Cleo.
Her original namesake band consisted of her and her two sisters, achieving a top five hit with Comin’ Atcha, and, after disbanding, Cleo made it through to the semi-finals of The Voice in 2013, with the help from super producer and Cheryl’s bestie Will.I.Am.
“This is my first ever theatre performing experience,” admits Cleo. “But the minute I knew auditions were being held, I was straight on the motorway. I had to get the part. Michael is such an important part of my life.”
For those whose interests have been peaked, do not expect a story of Jackson’s life with a disclaimer suggesting changes for dramatic effect, or a plotted story at all.
“It’s not a play,” Cleo says. “There are four singers and a Michael dance impersonator, who does an amazing moonwalk.
“But we aren’t impersonating Michael with our voices, it’s still us, we’re just reliving the music for the audience.
“It’s a celebration of his musical work and its the closest thing to seeing what he would have been like live. It’s so good, it’s given me the bug to carry on in theatre – despite the long hours!
“It’s so hard being away from your family, especially my kids, but the music really does pull you through.
“I love singing Blame It On The Boogie, because everyone gets up dancing, but during The Way You Make Me Feel, I have to wear a rather tight catsuit. So that took some nerve getting into.
“But the night is about Michael, who was brilliant at being himself. There is so much passion in this show, which reflects how much passion Michael had to change the world.
“People leave the theatre feeling amazing, but there isn’t a dry eye in the house after Man In The Mirror. It’s a real tearjerker.”
When & where: Monday to Saturday, October 31. 7.30pm. Saturday, 4pm and 8pm. Hull New Theatre, Kingston Square, Hull
Tickets: From £22.50
Call: 01482 300300 or visit www.hullboxoffice.co.uk
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