We are big fans of the Madagascar movies in the Mackcracken household, so were super excited to see that it was being turned into a stage production. Mini in particular couldn’t wait to see the show and had been singing, “we like to move it, move it” around the house for the previous two days.
The show, produced by Selladoor Family and Hartshorn – Hook Productions, is based heavily upon the story in the original movie. Fans will not be disappointed, as all of the favourite characters are brought to life on stage. The show tells the story of Alex the Lion, played by 2016 X-Factor winner, Matt Terry and his best friends, Marty (Antoine Murray-Straughan), Melman (Jamie Lee-Morgan) and Gloria (Timmika Ramsay) as they escape from the New York City Zoo and find themselves in the wilds of Madagascar. The foursome are also accompanied on their journey by a group of cunning penguins, expertly puppeteered on stage.
I’m not sure if this is what Matt Terry had in mind when he applied for X Factor a few years ago, however his performance was fantastic, in particular the singing aspects. I think Mini has fallen in love with him and begged us to find Alex the Lion after the show had ended.
The set was cleverly put together, with slick changes transforming the stage to the various scenes in the show. Even though the cast was relatively small, at only 10, I cannot fault the energy and enthusiasm of all on stage, it definitely felt like there were many more of them during some of the party scenes.
I did think that the first half of the show was a little slow as we got to know the characters. The second half, for me was much more engaging, and we got to meet the fabulous King Julien, played by Jo Parsons. His character had me in stitches with his funny lines, hilarious facial expressions and cute shuffling across the stage on his knees. I’m pleased to say that Mini wasn’t disappointed to see King Julien lead the cast into the party scene for “I like to move it, move it”. There was even a spot of dabbing and flossing on stage too. I don’t think I spotted a bottom in the audience not wiggling along.
Madagascar The Musical provides an energetic, brightly coloured performance that is suitable for all the family. There was certainly enough to keep Mini’s eyes glued to the stage, whilst there were also elements of grown up humour for the adults. The songs brought a new element for those used to the story and were all beautifully performed by the cast.
The performance was two halves of forty minutes long, which is perfect as a family evening out. It was perfect timing to hold the attention of the younger members of the audience and meant it wasn’t too late a night, although it is the school holidays.
All of Team Mack had an excellent time at Madagascar The Musical and would highly recommend a visit to families in and around Birmingham or to catch it on the upcoming UK tour.
Madagascar The Musical is on at The New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham from 31st July until 4th August, tickets are available from the theatre here. Full tour dates and schedule can be found on the official Madagascar The Musical website.
Disclaimer: We were kindly invited to attend Madagascar The Musical for the purpose of a review, all opinions and views are entirely our own.
Official production photographs were taken by Scott Ryland and were provided to me by The Ambassador Theatre Group Limited, with their permission to use for this review post.