by Julie Wallis twitter.com/nicenic63
Madagascar The Musical at New Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham
Madagascar the Musical has arrived at The New Alexandra Theatre just in time for the start of the school holidays and it is terrific fun. Based on the Dreamworks movie of the same name, this tells the story of Alex the lion and his friends Gloria the hippo, Melmen the giraffe and Marty the Zebra as they attempt to escape from their New York zoo and find themselves on the island of Madagascar. As Alex gets hungrier and Marty looks tastier, can this friendship endure.
The costumes worn by the actors looked wonderful. Matt Terry as Alex the lion really was king of the stage with his muscular torso and mane transforming him into a singing and dancing lion. Antoine Murray-Straughan as Marty the zebra looked great with his equine muscular legs and spikey mane, but most impressive of the outfits for me was Timmika Ramsay as Gloria. Timmika wears a full padded suit to transform her into a dancing hippo and she even manages to do the splits! Jamie Lee-Morgan as Melman the giraffe makes for a convincing giraffe and I pretty soon forgot there was a man in the suit as Jamie has the head movements of his giraffe perfected. Melmens head is quite some way from Jamie’s head, but is operated by means of a pole and looks very realistic.
They all looked very convincing in a cartoonish kind of a way.
The penguins join the rest of the cast looking cute and funny and the audience didn’t seem to notice that the penguins were being operated by human puppeteers. King Julien is played by Jo Parsons, again he is a cute yet convincing lemur. Trust me, if you’re at all worried that actors in furry suits will spoil your or your child’s enjoyment of Madagascar the musical , fear not, it won’t. This might ruin Jo Parsons’ knees, but you will believe he is a talking lemur.
The set looks terrific too, with bright, vibrant colours and the animals shipping crates providing the main set, again it’s all realistic in a cartoonish way.
The majority of the audience was made up of children, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this show. Even though it is aimed a much younger age group than I am, I certainly didn’t feel too old to laugh out loud and I did laugh a lot, much more than I anticipated I would. This is a funny and very entertaining show with loads of singing and dancing as well as the comedy. Just how the cast manage to dance and make it look so easy whilst wearing bulky outfits though, it’s a skill. Fabian Aloise as choreographer has done a brilliant job.
Speaking of dancing, I did notice a lot of the audience were either up on their feet or bouncing in their seats when King Julien and the rest of the animals were singing I like to move it. The rest of the original music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan is fun and fresh and toe tappingly good and includes Wild and Free, Steak and Best Friends.
This is a fantastic opportunity to take younger family members to the theatre as no one is going to tut at you if your little one gets over excited. The audience were very enthusiastic and vocal last night and nobody minded at all. As I said earlier, it’s primarily a show for children, but one that the grown ups will enjoy. If you think you would enjoy comical penguins, singing steaks (!) and dancing animals then you will love Madagascar the musical.
Check out Madagascar The Musical at The New Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 4th August: atgtickets.com/shows/madagascar-the-musical/new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham
Matt Terry is not performing on Friday 3rd or Saturday 4th August.
This isn’t a sponsored post. Julie was invited to see Madagascar The Musical by The New Alexandra Theatre for #BrumHour.
Soon the New Alexandra Theatre will be changing its name to The Alexandra, Find out more here: brumhour.wordpress.com/2018/07/28/refurb-and-new-name-for-new-alexandra-theatre-birmingham
When Julie is not blogging theatre for #BrumHour she can be found on her own blog at redandgoldweb.wordpress.com