Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Jacko soundalike sought for stage

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson is not involved in the musical

Producers of a West End show based on pop singer Michael Jackson are to hold open auditions to find a young actor to play the musical legend on stage.

The wannabe star, aged between 11 and 15, will take the lead role in Thriller Live when it opens in January.

Producers want a black or mixed race boy with "an excellent unbroken pop/rock voice with a high range".

Singers will be required to perform Ben, I Want You Back, or I'll Be There at the auditions on 23 November.

Tribute

The casting session will take place the Lyric Theatre, which is where the production will be staged next year.

The show has already been seen in Germany, Holland and Scandinavia and travelled on three UK tours.

It is billed as a tribute to the hits and career of pop star Jackson and The Jackson 5.

The star himself is not involved in the musical, but Sony, which owns his back catalogue, is supporting the show.

There has been speculation that The Jackson 5, who last performed together in 2001, will be reuniting next year with the former King of Pop among them.

However, the 50-year-old star, best known for hits such as Bad and Smooth Criminal, has denied the rumours.

Last month he issued a statement, that said he "no plans to record or tour" with his siblings.

Thriller - Live opens on 2 January, and features hits such as Can You Feel It, Rock With You, Beat It, ABC and Billie Jean.



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