Saturday, August 26, 2006


While we're wading through the "what were they thinking of" with the benefit of foresight, can anyone think what might possibly go wrong with a West End musical based on the tunes of Michael Jackson. Featuring a children's choir.

Producer Adrian Grant has hailed the show a "musical celebration" and says it will help to revive Jackson's status as the King of Pop.

"It's to remind the public that Michael Jackson is still a great artist, and to put his music back out in the public domain," says Mr Grant.

The thing is, of course, that Michael Jackson's music hasn't gone out of the public's reach - it's just that the public has elected to recoil in horror rather than reach out and grab. The much-vaunted re-releasing of the singles proved that, yes, there are a small number of people who still admire his early stuff, but it also demonstrated that the King of Pop is now a monarch on the level of King Constantine of Greece - it's a courtesy title that people use merely to try and make him feel better about no longer actually having a realm. The kingdom has moved on.

To be fair, Mr Grant doesn't oversell what's on offer:

"It's a song and dance performance, and it's very much like a spectacle of singers and dancers."

The "like" is telling - reminiscent of the way processed cheese slices are described ("Cheese-style food slices"). In effect, then, it's people who clearly can't be as good as Michael Jackson doing his songs.

"We made it very clear from the very beginning that we couldn't get anybody to play or imitate Michael because we don't think there's anybody that could really do that, and it would become like a parody.

"We have several different singers, with children from the age of eight singing the early stuff.

"We've got a range of different singers interpreting his music, but nobody's actually playing Michael Jackson."

People who aren't as good as Jacko doing songs in a way that won't even try to sound like him.

We wish Mr. Grant well with his show. And luck finding a paying audience who'll come out saying "that was brilliant - if you closed your eyes, it was almost as if really wasn't Michael himself not on the stage..."