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How could a theatre show possibly live up to the iconic reputation of the Madagascar films? Fun, friendship, comedy and music packaged up with a side helping of cute, talking animals. What a weight of expectation to live up to. But Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres delivered all that and more.
About Madagascar the Musical
Following the story of the film quite closely, Madagascar the Musical introduces us to an unusual group of friends. Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo all live at the New York Zoo. They’re all relatively content there, except for Marty who feels the call of the wild. On his birthday, he blows out the candle and wishes to be in the wild. Sure enough, his wish is granted.
What follows is a hilarious adventure. The audience is treated to the ninja granny of the New York subway, rogue penguins commandeering a boat and a dramatic shipwreck. By the end of the first half, the friends are all back together again, but they’re stranded and nobody is quite sure where they are.
The second half gets off to a lively start when we are introduced to the hilarious King Julien. Immediately stealing the show, he and his tribe quickly launch into a rendition of “I like to move it, move it” that has everyone bopping away in their seats. Mildly dark characters are introduced, with King Julien hoping Alex will stay with his tribe to protect them. Soon though, Alex’s natural hunter instinct kicks in and he struggles to see Marty as friend rather than food. Luckily, the rogue penguins turn up in their stolen boat and old friends and new all pile aboard.
Opening night of Madagasgar the Musical at Malvern Theatres
Last night was opening night for Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres. At the beginning of the performance, they announced that Alex and Marty would be played by understudies that day. There was some disappointment among the audience because Alex was due to be played by Matt Terry, who won X-Factor in 2016. However, it’s live theatre. The star won’t always be well or able to go on stage. As they say though, the show must go on. And on this occasion, the understudies were absolutely outstanding.
The show wasn’t about one star character. The whole story is about the power of friendship and pulling together in adverse circumstances. The cast certainly did that on opening night. Strong vocals, upbeat songs and endearing characters make Madagascar the Musical a must-see performance. In fact, it would make an ideal first theatre trip for little ones. There are no really scary or desperately sad scenes, just plenty of family friendly fun. When the performance finished, my six year old turned to me and said, “That was amazing!”. Which I think sums it up quite nicely.
If you’d like to go and see Madagascar the Musical at Malvern Theatres, head to their website for tickets. It’s showing until Saturday 6th April. After that, it continues to tour around the country. You can find tour dates here.
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