Touring – reviewed at the New Wimbledon Theatre, London
I visited Madagascar The Musical with a friend and her children. On leaving I asked the girls what they would score the show they’d just seen? Without hesitation, and I’d almost not finished the question, they both shouted five stars. And that confirmed to me exactly what I’d been thinking. It’s colourful, full of energy, has adorable cute puppets, great vocals and dancing – what more can you ask for?
Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar The Musical follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.
Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.
This is a family-friendly show and so re-connect with your childlike thoughts and just sit back and be entertained. There are some adult jokes which will go over the heads of the little ones but make us ‘older children’ laugh. It re-creates the film on stage and so all your furry friends are there. Alex The Lion played by Matt Terry is suitably regal. Terry is making his musical theatre debut. However, his MT training illustrates that he has both the talent and charisma to show he was born to be on the stage.
The hypochondriac Melman the Giraffe (Jamie Lee-Morgan) is amusing in his loftiness. Gloria (Timmika Ramsay) has sass and fun and certainly knows how to make her character come to life. Antoine Murray-Straughan delights as Marty. He trots and ponders the question as any self-respecting Zebra would – Is he black with white stripes or white with black stripes?
The puppeteers who bring other characters to life, such as the adorable mischievous penguins, make you forget that there’s actually someone behind powering them.
However some of show stealing moments undoubtedly came from Jo Parsons as King Julien. He made us laugh with his antics and led his numbers magnificently.
There is nothing not to like here, it’s bright, fun, has audience participation, brilliant choreography (Fabian Aloise) and great singing.
Quite simply its perfect family entertainment and I suggest you hastily “Move It, Move It” to see it at a venue near you.
For tour and booking details visit www.madagascarthemusical.co.uk and find them at @MadUKTour on social media.
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