Dear Mummy, we love watching Dreamworks Madagascar at home and we have all of the films on DVD, some which have been on repeat this summer already! So when we were invited to watch Madagascar the Musical at the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth we were super excited and also super intrigued to see how it would translate onto the stage. Obviously the stage version cannot be a literal translation of the film.
The show reflects the first Madagascar film, and follows the storyline of Alex the Lion (Matt Terry), Marty the Zebra (Antoine Murray-Straughan), Melman the Giraffe (Jamie Lee-Morgan) and Gloria the Hippo (Timmika Ramsay) as they escape from Central Park Zoo and find themselves stranded in Madagascar. While trying to make their way home they discover the meaning of friendship and what its like to be truly wild and free.
We loved the musical score and the catchy songs in the performance which had people dancing in their seats and me and my daddy singing along. The costumes were fantastic and looked just like the animated characters we are used to seeing on the screen, so much so that I actually had to rub my eyes in disbelief. I was impressed by the fab actors who played Melman the giraffe and King Julien (Jo Parsons) as they sang and danced encased in their puppets and made everyone giggle.
Even though the set was minimalistic with wooden packing crates as the main focus in some scenes we loved the changes of backdrops, skylines and props from the jungle of Madagascar to Grand Central and New York. Much of the set appeared to come out of the sides like unpacking the crates which was a great idea.
As a child I was happy that the acts were quite short at 40 minutes for Act 1 and 40 minutes for Act 2, with a 20 minute interval as it was perfect for my attention span and gave me a chance to stretch my little legs and grab a bite to eat in the foyer. Though be prepared to spend more than you would at the cinema for snacks, as the bar team told my daddy much of what we spend goes towards keeping the theatre going which made my daddy happier.
The first half of the show introduced us to the zoo characters, their escape and leads up to the Madagascar shipwreck. While the in the second half we met King Julien (my personal favourite) and his jungle crew. Special mention needs to go to the team and performers behind the penguin puppetry especially Shane McDaid who brought Skipper the penguin to life. Not only were they hilarious but they brought to life the animated characters to almost perfection and of course we laughed out loud at the “Smile and wave boys” line! All the cast did a fantastic job of portraying the original characters with Marty being the most convincing and my Daddy’s favourite, while I love everyone*. Whilst I’m sure they didn’t intend to mimic the animated characters it helped us little ones get sucked in even more. *(note from daddy, She especially liked Alex the Lion who Bella kept saying was handsome and Gloria who she thought was funny and beautiful. Bella was so pleased to meet them after the show at the stage door, thanks guys).
This show is the perfect way to introduce kids musicals.
Madagascar the Musical is at the Kings Theatre in Portsmouth from the 21st-25th August. Tickets can be purchased here and the rest of the tour dates are on the official website.
Love Bella x
Disclosure: We were invited to see the show and all thoughts, boom shakalaka’s and bum wiggling in seats are our own. Plus we definitely like to move it move it!