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Culture, Theatre

Review: Madagascar The Musical


Yesterday evening at Oxford’s New Theatre, my nephews and I were among an audience of all ages enjoying the opening night of the vibrant and infectiously energetic Madagascar The Musical. From the second the curtains rose, we were whisked away to the urban jungle of New York's Central Park Zoo to meet the familiar and lovable characters from the smash hit DreamWorks film. This fun-filled production takes audiences on a wild ride to the tropical world of King Julien's Madagascar.

For those unfamiliar with the much-loved story, it follows Alex the lion – charismatic King of the zoo – along with his adventurous friends Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe, and Gloria the hippo. Their lives of blissful captivity are turned upside down when Marty's curiosity leads to a daring escape, catapulting them into an unexpected journey filled with laughter, friendship, and self-discovery.

Under the direction of the award-winning Kirk Jameson, and featuring lively choreography by Fabian Aloise, Madagascar The Musical is a visual spectacle infused with infectious energy. The talented cast, led by Stuart Glover's Selladoor Worldwide, captures the essence of each beloved character; from Alex’s regal charm to the penguins' hilarious antics. Each perfectly embodying the personalities we remember fondly from the film, while bringing a new energy, connecting with each member of the audience.

One of the highlights is the puppetry design by Max Humphries and puppet direction by Emma Brunton, bringing the animal characters to life in a truly enchanting way. In particular, Melman the giraffe’s portrayal was really cleverly done: the puppet is so full of personality you forget about the person holding up his long neck.

Madagascar The Musical is a perfect treat for the whole family, delivering an unforgettable theatrical experience that will leave even the grown-ups singing along. Whether you’re a fan of the film or are new to the wonderfully weird world of these animals, this show provides the kind of magic that only live theatre can provide.

Madagascar The Musical Live at New Theatre Oxford until this Sunday, 21 Apr 2024

Join in the fun, and get your tickets here:

Image credit: Mark Dawson Photography


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