Madagascar The Musical review

Madagascar The Musical (photo by Mark Dawson)


Madagascar The Musical. The Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham.


Many movies end up getting made into musicals but here we have Dreamworks’ 2005 smash hit animated film getting the treatment. On one hand transferring a slapstick cartoon to the stage sounds tricky, but on the other hand it gives producers an open playing field to get creative. And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

The story follows the animals at New York’s famous Central Park Zoo. We have Alex ( a very sexy lion played by Joseph Hewlett), Marty (a bored zebra, played by a very characterful Francisco Gomes), Gloria (a hippo, played by the fantastically voiced Jarnéia Richard Noel), and Melman (a hypochondriac giraffe, played skilfully comedic by Joshua Oakes- Rogers). Marty yearns for the wild open spaces and so decides to escape the confines of the zoo and heads for Grand Central Station (as a zebra would!) followed in pursuit by the others who want to stop him from making a terrible mistake. As you can imagine, the sight of wild animals loose in New York causes chaos, so they are duly captured and then shipped off to an African nature reserve so that the zoo can save face. HOWEVER, the mischievious penguins from the zoo also escaped (cue a hilarious scene where they disguise themselves as nuns!), they are also shipped off, but break free of their crate, and commandeer the ship which causes it send them all overboard leaving all the animals stranded in (guess where?) MADAGASCAR!

Once there they meet the famous lemurs – led by the show-stealing King Julien. The advertised Karim Zeroual was off tonight but I can’t imagine he could’ve been any better than the stand in Connor Keetley who was just wonderful in the role. The crowd loved him – and rightly so. The show is made up of brand new songs – except for “I Like To Move It’ (sung by King Julien) which brought the house down. The highlight of the show.

The skin characters and puppets are fabulous (as are the whole cast that bring them to life), and the aforementioned creativity which brings locations and scenes to life is really great. It’s a visual delight.

The show is wisely short and snappy meaning that the little ones won’t get bored. There’s never a dull moment. The kids in the audience were absolutely transfixed. Adults won’t be bored though (I certainly wasn’t). It’s fun for all the family. SO much fun.

If you want a fun couple of hours for your family you won’t be disappointed. You’ll have a wild time.


4 stars. Great family fun


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