Reviewed by Lorna Templeton
There aren’t many things that can hold our six-year-old’s attention for almost two hours, but Madagascar the Musical more than did the trick. Indeed, I’d go far as to say she was close to entranced by the mix of music, dance, puppetry and humour that make up this thrilling show.
Our daughter was far from alone in being utterly swept along on the opening night of Madagascar’s all too brief visit to the King’s. Audience members of all ages will find something to like in this fast-paced and visually impressive romp.
Based on the Dreamworks movie that had such success 13 years ago, the show tells the story of Marty the zebra, who tires of life in Central Park zoo and convinces a group of his fellow animals to sample life on the outside. Suffice to say that things don’t go as they would have planned – with dramatic and hilarious consequences.
The action really hots up in the second half when King Julien, expertly played by resident director Jo Parsons, takes centre stage and we build to the signature number, “I like to move it”. Parsons does an admirable job of aping how Sacha Baron Cohen delivered the song in the movie, but he’s far from the only star. Antoine Murray-Straughan, as Marty, is both witty and wise while Matt Terry, the 2016 X-Factor winner, is a hugely likeable Alex the lion.
Jamie Lee-Morgan is a wry giraffe (not a phrase you see often enough), and Timmika Ramsay brings spirit and sass to the character of Gloria the hippo. Then you have the penguins, a raucous, at times ridiculous and always funny ensemble.
It feels like a fast hour and fifty minutes, and the standing ovation at the end is more than earned.
Tickets cost from £16.90 to £51.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Madagascar the Musical is at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from 7-11 August 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/kings or call the box office on 0844 871 7648.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648