Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Madagascar the Musical Review - Kings Theatre, Portsmouth

Madagascar is one of those films that has been played in our house more times than I can count. There's something so wonderful about watching these fantastic creatures venture into the wild and back throughout the film. So when we heard it had been turned into Madagascar the Musical we were pretty excited, and an invite to watch it at the Kings Theatre,  Portsmouth meant that we were counting down the days!

Madagascar Musical


I'm going to be brutally honest and say that I was a tad wary of how the musical would turn out. I've seen enough bad screen to stage adaptations to know it can go one way or another. But with a stellar cast and some big names behind it, I had a feeling it would really surprise me. I mean anything that Selladoor put their name to is normally a winner in my books!

And surprise it did. I can honestly say that me and Max came out of the theatre with the biggest grins on our faces. Not only because it was a fantastic show, but all the elements just worked so well together that we really wanted to book tickets to see it again almost immediately (that or beg for another encore!) I don't know who the show was more geared too as the adults were laughing and clapping along probably more than the kids. If that's not the sign of a good family show then I don't know what is.

The story fits really close to the first Madagascar film, and tells the tale of Alex (Matt Terry), Marty (Antoine Murray-Straughan), Gloria (Timmika Ramsay) and Melman (Jamie Lee-Morgan) as they escape from the zoo and find themselves in the wilds of Madagascar. Along the way they learn about what it truly means to be wild, find new friends and discover that whilst freedom is brilliant, they miss the home comforts of captivity. 

Madagascar Musical

The first half of the show introduces you to the characters and leads up to the shipwreck that lands them in Madagascar. I honestly loved the songs that they created, the way that the characterisation and puppetry worked and the way they brought these characters to life. It felt like you were watching the film on stage at times. Matt Terry did a fantastic performance as Alex the lion and it really felt like he was at home in theatre!

The second half takes you into Madagascar where you meet King Julien (Jo Parsons) and his lemur gang. Filled with iconic lines such as "Smile and wave boys" and songs that we know and love, it truly added that bit of magic. As soon as the penguins hit the stage (puppetry by a fantastic cast!) I instantly wanted to take them home and the crowd were slightly giddy with excitement. It really seemed to appeal to everyone old and young. Max was in awe of the puppetry and on the way home asked if he could learn how they do it.

I can honestly say I was blown away with the show. All of the main cast did a fantastic job of personifying the original characters and you honestly couldn't pick anyone that stole the limelight. They did brilliant work at bouncing off each other and lending to each others sass, strengths and dances! Between dabbing, flossing and the Mc Hammer dance, I think they had everything covered.

The set was colourful, the puppets were fantastic and the costuming was spot on. There was honestly nothing that they could have added to make it any better than what it was. I couldn't have wished for a better adaptation and I think the rest of the crowd could agree with me too. It was high energy, full of catchy songs and kept everyone in the audience hooked. With so much talent oozing out of the show, you can see why it's a hit and one that we loved.

A fun filled family treat that will have old and young laughing, dancing and singing along. You best move it, move it to see it before it moves on to the next city!

Madagascar Musical


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.

Photos courtesy of Scott Rylander.
Tickets received for the purpose of a review, all opinions are my own.
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