Reviewed by Gemma Ingham
My 6 year old loves Madagascar so we were thrilled to be invited to see the musical performance on opening night at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford. This theatre is conveniently located in the centre of Bradford, near all major road networks and there’s parking nearby.
Helpfully, this performance was earlier than most evening performances we have been to, and the length of the show was just right for children’s attention spans at around 1 hour 50 minutes.
The musical follows the story and friendship of the animals from Central Park Zoo in New York. Marty the zebra (played by Antoine Murray-Straughan) is sick of being in the zoo and breaks out to see what else is out there in the world. His best friend Alex the lion (Matt Terry), Gloria the hippo (Timmika Ramsay), and Melman the hypochondriac giraffe (Jamie Lee-Morgan) go in pursuit of their friend and unfortunately end up captured and shipped off ending up in Madagascar. Here they encounter the absolutely fabulous and hilarious King Julien (Jo Parsons) and other inhabitants of this strange new world.
The musical involves a lot of amazing puppetry ranging from smaller puppets such as penguins and monkeys, to the innovative way that Melvin the giraffe is presented. The ensemble that control these puppets are amazing, somehow being present but also blending into the background at the same time so as not to detract from the puppet characters.
The choreography is energetic and original, the vocals are top class, and the stage set is simple yet very effective. My daughter was laughing out loud throughout, with her favourite character being King Julien for his silly jokes, daft dancing and his general foolishness. I don’t think I will ever look at anyone doing the ‘floss’ in the same way again after seeing him perform the dance.
I would highly recommend this musical and am now being forced to watch the film version over and over again!
Tickets cost from £15.50 to £40 (booking fees may apply).
Madagascar the Musical is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford from 23-27 October 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000