Hopefuls beat a path to Playhouse for chance to play the King of Pop

OPEN auditions for hit West End show Thriller - Live lured 25 would-be Kings of Pop to try-outs in the Playhouse.

Only two of the Michael Jackson contenders were asked to return to the next stage of the trials in London. An audition for budding youngsters aged 11-15 to play a young Jacko failed to take off as no-one turned up for the heat.

Dozens of adults tried out for the role of Michael Jackson, with some travelling hundreds of miles.

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Alex Devine, from Newquay, said he had spent three days at the mercy of the snow in his bid to reach the Capital and audition for the part.

The 25-year-old was one of two successful contenders to be invited back for a second round of auditions in London taking place tomorrow.

"It took days to get here but I'm so pleased I made it and have been asked back to audition again," he said.

Another singer to be recalled was Alexander Robertson, from Peterhead, who wowed a two-man panel with his version of Dirty Diana and Beat It.

The 23-year-old came to Edinburgh to audition after failing to attend try-outs in King's Theatre where he works.

Thriller - Live is a high-octane show celebrating the career of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5.

Top West End casting director Debbie O'Brien and musical supervisor John Maher ran the rule over singers at the Playhouse.

Ms O'Brien said she was impressed with the talent on show in the Capital but admitted the heavy snow may have affected the number of auditions.

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"The weather was rather against us, as for a lot of the younger singers they rely on their parents to get them here and that wasn't easy with the snow.

"We had a number of really good auditions but two stood out and they will be coming to London for the next round."