Madagascar The Musical: Review

AD – Press Tickets provided by The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

Fans of Alex the lion and his friends from New York’s Central Park Zoo will be as delighted as we were to discover that they’re on tour! This week they’re at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. Madagascar the musical is a fun, colourful and upbeat production that will have you singing and dancing along to this classic story.

About Madagascar the Musical

If you haven’t seen the classic cartoon Madagascar, firstly, where have you been? Secondly, here is a brief synopsis of the story.

Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. But the zoo environment is not enough for his friend Marty, who thinks there’s more to life than captivity.

Alex and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives at the zoo, posing for an admiring public. Regular meals are provided for them and life isn’t bad.

Not content with his lot, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world. Of course, Marty’s friends set out to look for him and before long, they’re all on the adventure of a lifetime.

Alex, Melvin and King Julian on stage in Madagascar the Musical at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

The Cast

The brilliant cast were full of energy, providing great dance moves and plenty of laughs. Karim Zeroual who usually plays King Julian is a television presenter and theatre performer best known for anchoring CBBC and reaching the final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2019. My girls are big strictly fans so I thought they would be disappointed that he wasn’t in it tonight, but they didn’t even notice because the whole show was so much fun.

  • King Julian: Karim Zeroual (played by Connor Keetley in the performance we saw)
  • Alex: Joswph Hewlett
  • Gloria: Jarneia Richard-Noel
  • Marty: Francisco Gomes
  • Melman: Joshua Oakes-Rogers
  • Kowalski: Laura Marie Benson
  • Swing: Aidan Harkins
  • Rico: Ella Howlett
  • Skipper/ Maurice: Connor Keetley (played by William Beckerleg in the performance we saw)
  • Private/ Mort: Brogan McFarlane

Madagascar The Musical: Review – The Alexandra Birmingham

Madagascar the Musical is a colourful, dynamic adaptation of the much-loved film. The characters are portrayed using a combination of actors with bright, extravagant costumes and large puppets. The puppeteers and their adorable puppets are super expressive and interact brilliantly with the other actors.

The first half focuses on introducing the characters within the zoo environment and their escape into New York City. It ends when Alex and the others have been tranquillised and fallen asleep. We then rejoin them in the second half when they are en route to Madagascar. Subsequently, we meet the native animals including the hilarious King Julian and his Lemur crew.

This is a very short, to the point show that would make an ideal first musical for younger children. My girls are a bit older now (age 9 & 11) but they are huge fans of musical theatre and both loved Madagascar, as did the adults in our party!

Things we loved most about the show:

  • Upbeat music that got everyone dancing in their seats
  • Fun characters that appealed to children and adults alike
  • True to the family film that we all love
  • Full of energy
  • The hilarity of the old lady beating up “bad kitty” Alex the lion

The only thing from the film that was notably absent was King Julian’s whistling! Despite this, he is a great character that the audience naturally interact with.

Alex and King Julian on stage in Madagascar the Musical at the Alexandra Theatre Birmingham

Madagascar The Musical: FAQs

How long does Madagascar the Musical last?

An hour and 45 minutes including the interval. This makes it ideal for a younger audience as it holds their attention throughout.

When is Madagascar the Musical in Birmingham?

Madagascar is at the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham from 14th to 17th March 2024. It then moves on to Grimsby from 21st to 24th March 2024 and you can see additional tour dates on the Madagascar the musical website.

How to get tickets for Madagascar the Musical

Tickets for Madagascar the Musical at The Alexandra Theatre Birmingham are available from ATG tickets. Tickets for other locations can be booked via the Madagascar the musical website.

Is Madagascar the Musical suitable for children?

The show is recommended for children aged 3 and over. This seems absolutely the right age to me. I would have taken my three year old nephew and I’m sure he would have loved it. However, don’t rule out taking older children because they will adore it too!

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