REVIEW: Madagascar The Musical (New Victoria Theatre) ★★★★

You’ve Got to Move It, Move It… the New Victoria Theatre…Hurry!

It’s not often that I have to try and swap my reviewing head, but this was definitely one of those times when I went to see Madagascar the Musical, I have had to take off my adult head and plonk on my child’s head to give an honest opinion.
Hence this show is very much aimed at children, rather than adults and the children were loving every minute of it.

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar the Musical follows a group of furry friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to Madagascar.

Matt Terry (winner of 2016 X Factor fame) was indisposed at the press performance in Woking but it was good to see the theatre go ahead with the press night and allow the understudy to be reviewed instead (sadly this doesn’t happen often enough). Taking Matt’s place was Brandon Gale who was a roaring success, bringing some great energy to the role of Alex the Lion and he managed his songs with a strong singing voice and reams of boundless energy.

Gorgeous Gloria (The Hippo) played by Timmika Ramsay, is equal parts diva, sweet and loveable and she belts out songs with gusto. Jamie Lee-Morgan got a lot of laughs as the hypochondriac giraffe Melman, who is more afraid of missing his upcoming medical appointments than roaming free.

Antoine Murray-Straughan as Marty, the Zebra who just wants to see the wild, was convincing. He was warm hearted, wistful and wacky in equal measure and played the perfect antidote to Alex’s diva like status and performance.

But I’m saving the best for last, if for no other reason, you must go to see Jo Parsons who steals the show as the outrageous King Julien – whenever he was on stage I couldn’t take my eyes off of him . His performance was worth every penny, and I am still giggling as I write this.

All in all a good night out.

Reviewed by Neil Mcfarlane
Photo: Scott Rylander


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