The Michael Jackson musical show Thriller – Live has been given an extended run in the West End, despite the allegations of sexual abuse against the singer made in the documentary Leaving Neverland.
The show, which is staged at the Lyric Theatre in London and is now in its 11th year, will run until April next year, it’s been confirmed.
In a statement, its producer Paul Walden said: “In our 11th year Thriller Live continues to do remarkably strong business and the fact we are today announcing another long extension into 2020 should tell you all you need to know about the state of the show’s box office.”
Jackie, Marlon and Tito Jackson also welcomed the news, adding: “It’s great they’ve extended their run so more fans can have an opportunity to dance to Michael’s music, the Jackson Five music, and to have a great night out.”
The news comes after radio stations in the UK and around the world have dropped Jackson songs from their playlists.
Makers of The Simpsons also announced it was to pull the episode Stark Raving Dad, in which Jackson features, from circulation.
Last month, the National Football Museum in Manchester removed a statue of Jackson which was originally displayed outside Fulham’s ground Craven Cottage.
However, some have come out in defence of the singer.
The Voice judge will.i.am called the film ‘a smear campaign’, accused those involved in it as being motivated by money, and said that the radio stations banning his music are ‘hypocrites’.
“The Michael Jackson I loved I will always love,” he said. “The person I met was the kindest and most genuine and big-hearted person, who wouldn’t hurt a fly.”
Leaving Neverland was unveiled at the Sundance Film Festival in January, centring on interviews with Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who both claim Jackson raped and molested them for several years, after meeting them as children.
Robson and Safechuck have said that they were not paid for their participation in the film.
The Jackson estate has slammed the film, made by BAFTA-winning British director Dan Reed, calling is ‘a public lynching’.
Thriller Live is a concert revue, which has been staged in 33 countries around the world, and takes in Jackson’s solo material, as well as other music recorded as the Jackson 5.