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Madagascar The Musical at Princess Theatre Torquay | Review

Madagascar The Musical
Madagascar The Musical

The musical spectacular that is Madagascar is certain to make you ‘move it, move it’. Based on the 2005 DreamWorks animation, we follow our best-loved vibrant friends – Marty, Melman, Gloria and Alex as they escape from New York’s Central Park Zoo and embark on a journey full of “roaring” humour as they venture “to the wild”. While still giving plenty of nods to the original film, this production gives its own stamp on the story allowing it to be fresh yet classic.

The production lacked some energy in the first half, but it certainly made up for it in bundles come Act 2. It demonstrated a flawless example of finely crafted family theatre. No matter what age you are, you’re immediately transported back to being a little kid, in awe of the warm magical world we’re so instantly taken to.

The sheer colourfulness of the production complements the vibrant larger than life characters that inhabit it. Nothing then can be ‘too big’, as the world that surrounds them gives them permission to be larger than life, yet totally plausible. The show opens with the characters being introduced to us one at a time as though we’re visitors passing through Central Park Zoo. Additionally, the opening number sets us up for the fun-filled journey ahead, as it so cleverly echoes the ‘DreamWorks’ family feel we know so well.

The use of puppetry is so charming. You can’t help but fall in love with ‘Skipper’ and his clan with their continuous comical interludes which add extra humour to the already side-splitting production.

‘Alex’ the Lion was “The King of New York City” and Joseph Connor was definitely the King of the stage. His vocal range was impeccable yet seemed effortless. Connor brought warmth and a sense of adventure to Alex which was so watchable.

Hannah Victoria also displayed vocal excellence as ‘Gloria’. Her tone was rich and so full of character.

The showstopper performance was Kieran Mortell’s ‘King Julian’. He quickly brought a new level of energy to the production and had the entire audience in fits of laughter with his remarkable comical timing which was pitched so flawlessly. Mortell took the character and completely ran with it, bringing so many surprises which kept the audience constantly wanting more. He was a comedy genius which had kids and adults laughing alike. He instantly made you want to be his friend and bridged the audience and the characters so seamlessly. Congratulations Kieran.

Madagascar is a musical adventure that’s packed with new surprises as well as invoking memories of the original film. It captures the DreamWorks feel so perfectly which got the whole audience up on their feet come the end, dancing to the films best-loved songs. I’m certain to say we all liked to ‘move it, move it’ last night.

4 stars

Review by Daniel Chambers

Based on the smash-hit DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – The Musical follows all your favourite cracka-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Princess Theatre, Torquay Events

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