One of Dreamwork’s biggest film franchises, Madagascar, has been converted into a stage musical and performed it’s opening show at Hull New Theatre last night.
Nevaeh, my 6-year-old daughter, and I decided to have a Daddy-Daughter date, so went along to see it. It’s been a while since I’ve watched the film, but I remember it being one the more enjoyable kids films for parents so I was happy to give it a try.
Like the film, the show follows the story of Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Gloria the Hippo and Melman, the hypochondriac Giraffe, all confined to New York Zoo. The animals are comfortable and happy with life, except for Marty the Zebra who decides one day that he wants to explore the outside world.
After a comedic escape with some help from the penguins, they end up ship-wrecked on the island of Madagascar where friendships are tested through Alex’s hunger and desperation for a juicy steak.
I’d seen the trailer before hand so I knew how the costumes and puppetry were set up to re-create the animated story on the stage. I expected it to be a high-quality production and it certainly didn’t disappoint.
The costumes were cleverly thought-out and helped you get into the story without thinking too much about the individual actors. The stage set up was well planned out and high quality as you’d expect from a tour of this calibre. Stage surrounds were constructed that were made to look like shipping crates, but with various openings to allow the change from New York mode, to the Madagascan Jungle.
Like the movie, there was a touch of humour; most coming in the second act from King Julian XIII, who was brilliant played Jo Parsons and was equally as good as Sacha Baron Cohen’s original portrayal in the movie.
Unlike the film though, the show was a musical so it featured some brilliant catchy renditions that had been written just for this production. The main theme song of “I like to move it, move it” from the animated film, made it into the show and was brilliant fun; especially at the end where the kids couldn’t help but get up and dance.
Related: See what’s on at Hull New Theatre
Antoine Murray-Straughan and Timmika Ramsey were outstanding as Marty and Gloria. They were absolute sound-a-likes of Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett-Smith from the film and the energy of their performances made it very entertaining.
Former X-Factor winner, Matt Terry, who played Alex the Lion, is well-known for his singing voice and he didn’t disappoint in the show’s musical numbers.
Overall, Madagascar is an excellent family show and it’s a great opportunity to see it in Hull this week while it’s here. It’s only an hour and half long with an interval in the middle so it’s not too long for the kids. Nevaeh was completely bought into the show and loved every minute and I doubt there’s a child out there who won’t love it too!
The show is only in Hull until this Saturday so you’ll have to be quick. Some tickets are still available for just £19 from hulltheatres.co.uk but are very limited.