Review: Madagascar The Musical

The hapless heroes find themselves on a ship bound for Kenya after escaping their zoo home.

The hapless heroes find themselves on a ship bound for Kenya after escaping their zoo home. - Credit: Archant

The wonderfully colourful and hilarious spectacle that is Madagascar The Musical got families to ‘Move It, Move It’ at The Hippodrome, in Bristol, when it opened last night (Tuesday).

King Julien of Madagasgar welcomes the zoo crew into his kingdom.

King Julien of Madagasgar welcomes the zoo crew into his kingdom. - Credit: Archant

Based on the 2005 DreamWorks animated film, the story follows Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo who live at New York’s Central Park Zoo. When Marty, plus a quartet of plucky penguins, tire of their comfortable lives, they decide to break out to see what being in ‘the wild’ is all about. Marty’s friends go in hot pursuit to stop him but they all end up in crates on board a ship headed for Kenya, which fall overboard thanks to the penguins’ antics, and they wash ashore on the island of Madagascar.

Here they meet King Julien and his fellow lemur cohorts, who open up a whole new world to the friends - but will they stay and keep the predators away from the kingdom or head back to what they know?

The musical closely follows the film storyline and despite the obvious difficulties with transferring cartoon characters to the stage, the clever puppetry, fantastically-colourful sets and the funny script made the transition quite seam-less. The catchy songs were also crowd-pleasers and the audience was clapping along, especially when it came to the well-loved Move It.

The larger-than-life characters were all expertly played and although it was disappointing X-Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry was not performing as billed, some of the actors in the comic parts shined in their roles to take the focus off. Nailsea-born actor Jo Parsons in particular was so hilarious as King Julien that even my 10-year-old, who sat stoney-faced through scenes of the characters flossing, which wasn’t done right apparently, laughed at the part where Alex’s rumbling tummy makes the king wretch uncontrollably.

Alex, played here by X Factor winner Matt Terry, with his fellow escapees, the penguins.

Alex, played here by X Factor winner Matt Terry, with his fellow escapees, the penguins. - Credit: Archant


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All in all, a fun family show which is well worth treating the kids to.

Madagascar The Musical is at the Hippodrome until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each night and matinees at 11am or 2.30pm.

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Tickets, priced £16.90 - £45.40, are available via www.atgtickets.com/shows/madagascar-the-musical/bristol-hippodrome

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