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Cleopatra's Cleo Higgins brings Michael Jackson's Thriller to life on stage

By Herald Express  |  Posted: January 12, 2014

sister act:   Cleo Higgins formed Cleopatra with sisters Zainam and Yonah. Now she brings Thriller to life on stage

sister act: Cleo Higgins formed Cleopatra with sisters Zainam and Yonah. Now she brings Thriller to life on stage

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CLEO Higgins, former lead singer of Cleopatra and Will.i.am's contestant on The Voice, will star in Thriller — Live which comes to the Princess Theatre, Torquay, from February 17 to 22.

Thriller — Live celebrates the music of the world's greatest entertainer and undisputed King of Pop, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 and has now sold more than 2,500,000 tickets worldwide. It celebrates its fifth year in the West End where it has become the longest-running production in the Lyric Theatre's 125-year history.

Cleo was the lead singer of the 1990s pop group made up of three sisters from Manchester. Signed to Madonna's label Maverick when she was just 13, Cleopatra had three top 10 hits, supported the Spice Girls, had two TV series and even performed concerts at the Vatican in Rome.

They featured Cleo and her sisters Zainam and Yonah. After winning a talent contest, Cleopatra secured management and worked the boards which led to a record deal.

Their debut album Comin Atcha! was released on Warners and led to three top five hit singles in the UK — Cleopatra's Theme, Life ain't Easy and the Jackson 5 cover, I Want you Back.

Maverick signed Cleopatra for the USA and the girls worked with several luminary producers on their more grown-up second album Stepping Out.

Cleopatra were promoted on Jay Leno's Tonight show and Queen Latifah show, toured America with Jessica Simpson, Next, Brian McKnight, and performed on the Disney cruise ship.

The girls disbanded to pursue solo ventures and, in 2000, Cleo recorded the duet Someone Like You with Russell Watson for his debut album called The Voice, which made history by topping both the UK and the US classical charts and went multi-platinum.

Cleo duetted again with Russell on the song The Best That Love Can Be for his third album called Reprise.

Last year, Cleo auditioned for BBC1's The Voice. She eventually chose to join Will.i.am's team and battled her way through to the quarter-finals and was voted through by the public, being eliminated at the semi-final stage.

Thriller — Live moonwalked into the West End in January 2009 after three acclaimed UK tours.

Several world tours since have seen the show play to acclaim in 26 countries.

Unlike other West End productions, Thriller — Live is not a rigid book musical with set songs, but is a constantly evolving music concert celebration.

When Michael Jackson died, the Lyric Theatre became a focus for fans from all over the world, who created a massive shrine of flowers, candles, and tributes.

More than 40 books of condolence were signed in the foyer then sent to the Jackson family.

A year after his death, a permanent West End memorial to Michael was unveiled in the theatre foyer.

Thriller — Live brings to life on stage the distinctive high-energy dancing and pulsating sound of many of pop's greatest hits, blending video footage and effects together with dazzling choreography by the show's award-winning director Gary Lloyd.

DAWN ELLIS

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