After being invited to see some of the rehearsals of Madagascar I was excited to see the full staged show. An uncomfortably hot day in London was not going to put me off going to watch on press night, and I was not disappointed at all.
Madagascar Is a high quality family musical, I can not fault the cast, bright & creative stage set , costumes and my personal favourites the puppets.
The musical stays true to the same plot of the film just a streamlined version- but for children this is perfect as the show is a much shorter that a standard musical. ( running time is approx 1 hour 40 with an interval)
If you are worried this show is just for children it is most definitely not! with little joke references to things like 50 shades of Grey there is enough to keep the big kids engaged too.
The show really came alive in Act two for me with the addition of the extra characters, All the puppets are instantly recognisable and oh so cute. As soon as King Julien (played expertly by Jo Parsons) and his Madagascar friends appeared on stage you could hear the delight of the children all around the theatre one behind even exclaimed “I Like to Move it” excitedly before they started to perform the track – That is just how recognisable these characters in costumes and puppets were.
My focus was totally on the puppets and not the cast working behind them which is such a credit to these actors, they also interacted so naturally with the cast who were dressed as their characters eg Alex the Lion played by Matt Terry and Timmika Ramsay who plays Gloria the hippo..
Matt Terry more than proves he is not just a singer with his acting and movement perfect for the lion role. The only thing I would change about him would have been to hear a real ROAR from him not a sound effect as it wasn’t half as powerful as his vocals. (but maybe that’s just me wanting to him him make lion noises and it wouldn’t be good for a singers vocal chords ha ha)
Jo Parsons interpretation of King Julien really was the biggest high light for me, his character is so funny & quirky while also being a bit surreal like a character from the Mighty Boosh which entertained me so much.
It really was one of the hottest nights I have ever spent in a theatre and the fact that I still spent my time laughing and ended the show on my feet dancing and clapping along with the rest of the audience speaks volumes. Also extra credit to go to the cast in this heat if we as an audience were uncomfortable in the heat i can not even imagine how they felt in full costumes/ fur mains etc, and they didn’t let their energy drop for one second.
Madagascar is for all the family, all the children big and small and any fan of the film! catch it on tour now!