It was the real red carpet treatment at the press night for the wonderful new children’s show Madagascar. Wimbledon Theatre does this kind of thing so well, and the whole event felt more like we were at an opening in the West End. And this is West End quality, I’d say.
For those who have not seen the film version, the show charts the adventures of a group of animal friends headed for “the wild” after leaving their safe home in a New York Zoo. As Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melman the Giraffe leap The show is part puppetry part acting, the effects are fabulous and we soon started to believe in the narrative and in the characters.
Jo Parsons who plays the King of the Lemur is so entertaining and commands the attention of the audience (young and old) in the second act. Honestly, though, each of the characters had an energy they brought to the stage, all with strong vocals and impressive dance moves. Even the singing steaks were brilliant (you HAVE to see it..).
This show is just the right length, considering the target audience and also considering the hot weather we are currently experiencing. I think it really comes to life in the second act, picking up the pace and having more songs that I recognized (not being an aficionado of the film).
Despite the extreme heat, the cast kept the energy levels up and made it look effortless; their dance routines so well-choreographed and the execution faultless. I still don’t quite know how they managed to stay so smiley and focused in such huge elaborate (probably sweaty) costumes – you have to admire their incredible stamina.
The 7 and 9-year-olds I took along loved it and even joined in standing up and dancing at one point. I did too….couldn’t resist the “I like to move it, move it..” chants from the stage. The feel-good factor was definitely in abundance and the standing ovation was very well deserved.
This is a must-see and would be a great holiday treat, for both the adults and the children.
Madagascar the Musical is on at Wimbledon until the 28th July and then goes on tour.
31st July – 4th August Birmingham
7th -12th August Glasgow
14th – 18th August Manchester
Then across the UK at many other venues.