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Review: Wild for Madagascar?

I like to move it move it! Muddy gives you a sneak peak review ahead of Madagascar The Musical coming to Kent! Read on to see if Matt 'The X Factor' Terry has animal attraction. Go see!

Image: Scott Rylander

Following the smash hit Madagascar The Movie franchise, Dreamworks has transported their animal A-listers from screen to stage (following in the footsteps of Hollywoods finest) and woo-hoo! the touring musical is coming to Kent this summer. It’s showing from Wed 24 – Sun 28 July at The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, starring X-Factor 2016 winner Matt Terry.
But with a story so familiar and parroted by kids and their parents everywhere (maybe just our household?), can it live up to such a high bar? Fortunately our friend and fellow editor, Rachel, over at Muddy Berks went to see it in her county so we can share the review ahead of the Kent show. Here’s what she said:

Image: Scott Rylander

Madagascar the musical does not disappoint – with a strong cast, good (if slightly forgettable tunes) and some top-notch design from Tom Rogers. It’s charming, funny and captivating from start to finish – and at just 100 minutes long (including the interval), it’s perfect for younger kids (and you’ll all be tucked up by 9.30pm).
You know the drill (and if you don’t just press ‘play’ on Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett’s 2005 film). It follows the pampered, slightly neurotic stars of New York City Zoo who find themselves on a container ship leaving their five star existence in the Big Apple and marooned on the African island of Madagascar surrounded by carnivorous but caring wild animals – all because Marty the Zebra and a group of criminal penguins felt they didn’t belong in the city.
X Factor winner Matt Terry, making his musical theatre debut in the leading role of Adam The Lion, joins an experienced the cast of Antoine Murray-Straughan as Marty the Zebra, who has previously starred in Cats, Tammika Ramsay as sassy Gloria the Hippo and Jamie Lee Morgan plays Melman the ‘hypochon-giraffe’, a master puppeteer who has worked on War Horse. This is not their first rodeo and it shows. The singing was outstanding – even on the first night, when techy issues often need to be refined.
Madagascar The Musical Hexagon reading Lion Hippo, puppet giraffe and zebra on stage surrounded by tropical trees

Image: Scott Rylander

Although the plot feels a bit threadbare, it’s an uncomplicated, easy-breezy night of theatre that is perfect for a family outing. My fidget midget four-year-old was utterly transfixed and howling with laughter at the jokes, loved the puppetry, busting out a few moves for ‘I Like To Move It, Move It’. Even the teenager, managed more than a few chuckles.

Matt Terry, as the mane star, has a strong voice and for his first musical theatre role, is made for this kinda work, impressively hitting some high notes in couple of early numbers, he’s also a great dancer leaping round the stage like a gazelle while wearing a padded suit that covers his head in faux fur. Timmika Ramsay also delivers a solid performance as Gloria, while Antoine Murray-Straughan’s rapping, freedom-craving zebra is a perfect pal for Terry’s pampered puss. But Jo Parsons’ King Julien steals the show in the second act, playing his surreal, party-loving Lemur monarch like a character who got left behind at an Ibizan beach party in 1992.

Jo Mason King Julien lemur madagascar the musical green smoke

Image: Scott Rylander

It’s important to note there are plenty of grown up gags about a rectol thermometer, but King Julien’s hilarious skit about Adam’s stinky bowels had all ages crying. I mean who doesn’t love parp joke? This, and the bizzare yet brilliant number with three singing steaks (trust me, you’ll love it), goes to show this is a production that embraces the eccentric and runs with it.

Personally, I would’ve loved to have heard more of the original music from the movie, but the puppetry, humour, faultless performances, and dazzling stage design will lure you into the Madagascar jungle for a roarsome night out.

Madagascar The Musical will be at The Marlowe Theatre, Weds 24 – Sun 28 July 2019

 

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32 comments on “Review: Wild for Madagascar?”

  • Natasha Aidinyantz June 25, 2019

    Love Madagascar!!!

    Reply
  • Karen Cain June 25, 2019

    OOOh this is a big favourite in our house!

    Reply
  • Dawn July 4, 2019

    Would love to see this x

    Reply
  • Jackie brown July 4, 2019

    This would be amazing for my daughters too see.

    Reply
  • Hayley July 4, 2019

    I would LOVE to see this with my children! what a great start to the summer holodays!

    Reply
  • Hayley July 4, 2019

    I would LOVE to see this with my children! what a great start to the summer holidays!

    Reply
  • Lisa Gordon July 4, 2019

    I went to Southend, cliffs Pavillion, last year for my birthday, and it was a great show, my son loved it just as much as I did, and we would love to see it again, it was so funny, and well worth another seeing, and we would love to go again and have all the laughter again

    Reply
  • Christine Smith July 4, 2019

    Would love to win tickets for both my children whose birthdays are at the end of July

    Reply
  • Susan Bunney July 4, 2019

    Would love this is one of my favourites

    Reply
  • Karen lain July 4, 2019

    Madagascar is a bit hit in our house and my kids would love to watch it live 😊👍

    Reply
  • Jessica Darvell July 4, 2019

    My children love Madagascar!

    Reply
  • Lisa buckler July 4, 2019

    Ooh sounds like a fantastic show.

    Reply
  • Emma Freestone July 4, 2019

    Our twins would love the show they watched the film and would be a great familam day for us xx

    Reply
  • Teresa Sutton July 4, 2019

    Yes please my kids would love this

    Reply
  • Emma Priest July 4, 2019

    Would love a family trip to see this 😀

    Reply
  • Angela Hasler July 4, 2019

    Would love to see this. Cannot beat a good musical.

    Reply
  • Angela Hasler July 4, 2019

    No kids to bring. Just us big kids. Would love to see this.

    Reply
  • Janette Impett July 4, 2019

    Sounds like a fabulous family show x

    Reply
  • Janette Impett July 4, 2019

    Sounds like a fabulous show

    Reply
  • Ann coward July 4, 2019

    My children love watching Madagascar, they have all the dvds and would love this … good luck all x

    Reply
  • Ben Thwaites July 4, 2019

    Would be amazing to take my kids to see such a fun show in a beautiful theatre!

    Reply
  • Joanne July 4, 2019

    Looks really good! My kids would live it!

    Reply
  • Adelaide July 4, 2019

    I would love to take my boys to see this

    Reply
  • Julia MacAskill July 4, 2019

    Love it

    Reply
  • Dawn Long July 4, 2019

    An amazing fun filled family entertainment 😊

    Reply
  • Louise Bunce July 4, 2019

    Wow looks amazing! We’d love to move it move it! 😍

    Reply
  • Zoe July 4, 2019

    My daughter is 5 and has just got into live stage shows she world love this

    Reply
  • Claire Nye July 5, 2019

    Wow it would be an amazing treat for my little neice she loves the movie and has just welcomed her baby brother into the world so it would be a lovely present from him to say hello big sister Xx

    Reply
  • Fran July 5, 2019

    Would be amazing . Happy Sundays.♥️

    Reply
  • Emma Westall July 5, 2019

    Wow my children would love to see this ❤️

    Reply
  • Carl July 8, 2019

    We would love to win these tickets so we could give the tickets to our wonderful daughter, son in law and our beautiful grandchildren

    Reply
  • Kathy Waghorn July 8, 2019

    Have never taken my 2 young grandchildren to the Marlow. Would be a lovely surprise for them and their nan,fingers crossed xx

    Reply

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