Nica Burns, chief executive of Nimax Theatres who own the theatre, marked the occasion of the 1,815th performance by appearing onstage at the end of the May 16 performance to announce to the audience, "You are part of history being made tonight. Michael Jackson won so many amazing awards and set some impressive records in his lifetime - and he continues to do that today! This is my theatre, and I’m delighted to announce that Thriller Live has become the longest running show in its 125-year history." (The record was previously held by Cameron Mackintosh's production of Five Guys Named Moe.)
She then presented trophies from Nimax Theatres to producers Paul Walden and Derek Nicol of Flying Music, the show's director/choreographer Gary Lloyd, musical supervisor John Maher and to original creator Adrian Grant, whose personal association with Michael Jackson spanned 21 years and who first came up with the concept for the show.
Lloyd paid tribute to the dozens of singers and dancers who have performed in the West End production before over one million customers, and to the backstage staff, technicians, designers and crew who, he said, had all played a vital part in the success of the show, but largely go unseen by the public.
To date, more than 30 young boys have so far sung the hits of the young MJ in the West End and around the world. The need to have six available at any one time has led the producers of Thriller Live to launch a training academy to develop boys for the role of the young Michael. The MJ Academy opened its doors last November. Would-be MJs get classes in singing and dancing every Friday, with terms lasting three months. Ramon Mariqueo Smith, who sang the songs of the young MJ at the record-breaking performance, was one of the first graduates of the MJ Academy.
To book tickets for Thriller – Live, contact the box office at 0844 412 4661 or visit http://www.nimaxtheatres.com/thriller.