Churchill Theatre, Bromley – until Saturday 29 September 2018
Reviewed by Elizabeth Smith
Madagascar the musical is the tale of captive zoo animals who like this life, being looked after by the humans, not having to worry where their next meal is coming from or who will take care of them when they are sick and the adoration of the visiting humans. However not all the animals are content. Marty the Zebra dreams of live in the wild, running free and having adventures. So also do a gang of penguins who want to get home to Antarctica.
One evening Marty’s curiosity gets the better of him and he ventures into the New York city to get a train to the mid west. Hotly pursued by his best friends Alex the lion, king of New York city, Melman the hypochondriac giraffe, Gloria the sassy hippo and the army like regiment of penguins. When they are captured in the city by tranquilliser gun they awake to find themselves on a slow boat to Africa. The penguins have other ideas and cause a mutiny, taking charge of the boat and heading home. Their navigation skills are zero and the party end up in Madagascar.
Here they meet the flamboyant King Julien, who wants the help of the strangers to defeat the meat eating Fusa. However, being away from their usual civilised surroundings it becomes apparent that a hungry lion and a zebra can’t really
be friends. Meanwhile the penguins made it to the Antarctic realised its too cold and set sail for New York. En route they stop at Madagascar, before anyone gets eaten and they all return home as friends forever.
Matt Terry gives a powerful performance for the self assured Alex the lion king.
Antoine Murray-Staughan dances his way around the character of Marty. Jamie Lee-Morgan is the convincing hypochondriac giraffe, whose puppetry skills have you watching the giraffes head not the human face. Timmika Ramsay, Gloria the hippo, sings like a gospel diva. Jo Parsons brings the house down with his camp version of King Julien and the the crowd dancing in their seats. All the puppeteers were fantastic and bought the creatures to life.
The set of crates on the wings was a little over powering but the scene changes worked well. The music was a little bland with only “Move It” really standing out as a show stopper.
Over all the young audience laughed, clapped and danced their way through the performance and I wouldn’t hesitate in taking a Madagascar fan to see the animation come to life.