Madagascar the Musical - Review
Posted on: 2018-10-09
Madagascar the Musical is an undemanding night of feelgood entertainment. It’s a delightfully light, frothy and fun adaptation of the movie and coming in at under 2 hours it’s a perfect introduction to the theatre for the little ones.
Thirteen years ago, Dreamwork’s animated movie Madagascar hit our screens, introducing us to a world of animal adventures with a bunch of crazy characters and some eccentric lemurs that ‘like to move it, move it’, last night the stage version of this well-loved tale arrived at Bristol Hippodrome to the delight of its many fans. Sporting a brand-new score from George Noriega and Joel Someillan and boasting some excellent choreography Madagascar the Musical is a loud, colourful and fast-moving caper that is guaranteed to appeal to the whole family.
***Showing at The Bristol Hippodrome until 13th October 2018 - get tickets here***
For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, Madagascar tells the story of four New York zoo animals – Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo – who have comfortable lives in Central Park Zoo. On his tenth birthday Marty has a mid-life crisis of sorts and decides that that there is more to life than the confines of the zoo and adoration of the public, he needs to experience ‘the wild’.
Not knowing what the wild really is he escapes from the zoo, and after a misunderstanding he and his friends are shipped off to a Kenyan nature reserve. This resettlement doesn’t go to plan though, as some rascally penguins, intent on reaching Antarctica hijack the ship. The friends are thrown overboard and end up stranded in Madagascar, where they find their friendships tested as they encounter a horde of wild creatures unique to the island.
From the start this is a high-quality production. Noriega and Someillan’s score is fun and upbeat, a lively burst of sound that sets the tone for the show; even the slower ballads are uplifting with their underlying message of the important of loyalty and friendship. Added to this is some fabulous design from Tom Rogers and wonderful puppets created by Max Humphries, they all blend together to deliver a vibrant and imaginative retelling that retains all the familiar magic of the original but imbues the material with a new zest and sparkle.
Due to X-Factor winner Matt Terry being unavailable last night, the role of Alex, the self-obsessed and adulation hungry Lion was played by Brandon Gale. He gave an assured performance, showing off some incredible vocals and oozing charm. His enthusiasm was infectious, drawing the audience into the unfolding adventure. He had a great relationship with the fabulous Antoine Murray-Straughan who shone in the role of Marty, the friendship between the two characters coming through loud and clear.
Timmika Ramsay delivered a soulful and sassy turn as Gloria and Jamie-Lee Morgan was a delight as hypochondriac giraffe Melman. They worked beautifully together to create some great comedy moments. Puppetry is used by the talented ensemble to bring most of the other animals, including the mischievous commando penguins, to life. The entire cast bring energy and affection to their roles and make the production feel like one big party.
The undoubted star of the show for the audience was Jo Parsons, playing the delightfully nutty lemur King Julien. He was impressive as he flossed and dabbed his way through dance routines, and encouraged the crowd to go wild for him. Listening to the whoops and cheers from last night’s audience, his madcap antics made him a real fan favourite.
Though primarily a show for the children, with the animal characters, puppets, catchy tunes and vibrant sets, there is still lots for grown-ups to enjoy, with lots of pop culture references and innuendo to keep the adults amused.
Madagascar the Musical is an undemanding night of feelgood entertainment. It’s a delightfully light, frothy and fun adaptation of the movie and coming in at under 2 hours (including interval) it’s a perfect introduction to the theatre for the little ones. A great family show, playing at Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 13th October, click here to buy tickets.
Sarah-Jane is an aficionado of film, theatre, culture and the arts. A voracious reader and avid crafter, she can be found volunteering her face painting talents at Bristol Zoo when she's not cementing her reputation as Coalpit Heath’s cake maker extraordinaire. Known to have an opinion on everything she’s never happier than when sharing these with the good folk of Bristol!