IT’S a curious sight watching 1,000-odd people walking backwards out of a theatre, but such is the infectious aftertaste of this production of Thriller Live that you just can’t resist attempting a moonwalk on your way home.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from the show – whether it would be a glossed over retelling of the life of Michael Jackson, or an entirely separate story set to the King of Pop’s music.

It is neither. In fact, it’s a slightly-odd (but very enjoyable) assembly of people who either look nothing like Michael Jackson but sound spookily like him, or dance like Michael Jackson but don’t sing much. There are even some – like Reading-born Jesse Smith, who seemed to have his fan club in tow – who neither look, sing or dance like Michael Jackson, but belt out some of his vast back catalogue of hits with such passion it brings a tear to the eye.

Shut your eyes and Cleopatra Higgins (yes, a woman) is MJ reincarnate, especially in the early Jackson Five numbers like I Want You Back and ABC. And dancer Sean Christopher is a truly awesome talent, perfecting those iconic hip thrusts and body pops with scary familiarity, and earning an inevitable cheer with every moonwalk.

With all that going on, plus a cast of hard-working dancers bouncing around and a live band on stage, it’s a high-energy show that demands you get up and get down.

Sadly, you won’t be dancing in the aisles (health and safety, and all that) but you’ll certainly be on your feet and shuffling before long. You might even be tempted to show off your best Thriller moves... but perhaps that’s best left for the comfort of your own home?