I saw Madagascar the Musical over the weekend, and I’ve been eager to write my thoughts on it. I genuinely wondered if the adaption of the story would work for theatre, and it appears it has!
First and foremost, I think I have to stress, in my opinion, this is definitely a children’s show. I did find the show enjoyable, however, the audience were predominantly children, who liked to talk and scream at the stage. Therefore, if you prefer a calm theatre environment, or that certain “etiquette”, this show is probably not for you.
I was very impressed with the majority of the show – the costumes, the staging, the songs and the actors performances. The staging moved from New York City’s zoo (cages), to the shipping crates to Kenya (I was VERY impressed with this!) and finally, to the exotic land of Madagascar. There was a quick trip to Antarctica as well, with the lovable Skipper and co. The show definitely, without a doubt, pulled off the setting transitions, that makes Madagascar, Madagascar. It looked rich and really added to the enjoyment of the show throughout. The songs were good, particularly ‘Best Friends’ and ‘Relax, Be Cool, Chill Out’. However, I wouldn’t listen to the soundtrack outside of the show as I wouldn’t enjoy it in that context.
All of the actors were incredible, although, I have to give special praise to Antoine Murray-Straughan, who played Marty the Zebra. He was practically identical to the animated Marty’s actions and voice, and his overall performance was energetic and fun. As was Jo Parsons, who played King Julien. Parsons spent the majority of the show crawling around the floor on his knees, but managed to be bold and hilarious. Terry, Ramsay, Lee-Morgan and McDaid were equally incredible, with strong voices in song. All of the actors effectively captured that friendship-relationship Dreamworks illustrated in its movies.
One of my favourite scenes, was how the show handled Alex’s love of meat. There was a song, dancers and ultimately a dramatic faux-fight with the foosas over protecting Marty. Some shows that are adapted like this one, at times, fail to portray certain heaviness or lightness due to live-action, which Madagascar the Musical managed to pull off. There were no scared or upset children in the audience, only happy faces.
A massive well done and thank you to the creative team behind the scenes, as the costumes were authentic and the set was fantastic. The show lasted roughly two hours, with a short interval for refreshments etc. Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the show in many ways, but I wasn’t blown away. Perhaps that’s because I’m not as much of a child as I’d like to think anymore. It really emphasised friendship and dreams, with the odd splash of adult humour here and there.
I’d recommend families up and down the UK to see this show whilst it is still on, especially during the summer holidays. I do reiterate that I personally feel this is a show for children, as that is the audience that will attend. It’s loud in song but loud in the presence of children too. The show is touring the UK, so you can go and see it. Visit Madagascar the Musical’s website here.