Reviewed by Emily Crombie
Madagascar the Musical started its week-long run at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow last night, perfectly timed to entertain the young and the young at heart during the summer holidays.
It is based on the DreamWorks animated film Madagascar with the book by Kevin Del Aguila and the music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan. The musical is directed by Kirk Jameson and produced by Naomi James and Nathan Brine of Selladoor Family and Hartshorn-Hook Productions.
The musical version of Madagascar follows the birthday wish of Marty the Zebra who wishes to see the wild, to see beyond New York’s Central Park Zoo. His best friends Alex the lion has a chat with him trying to convince him of the predictable easy life he has in the zoo but after leaving for the night Alex retunes to discover Marty has escaped. Alex and their friends, Gloria the hippo and Melman the giraffe end up following him on his travels. To begin with the animals causes mayhem in New York as the media publish reports of the escaped wild animals loose on the subway. After an altercation with a police officer they are tranquilised, loaded into crates and dispatched on a ship headed for Kenya. This is until fellow escapees, the zoo penguins (who had already been tunnelling to escape from the zoo for the chill of Antarctica) take control of the ship.
After a hairy ride, the four friends end up in Madagascar. Julian, King of the Madagascan jungle, welcomes the guests and he uses them to his advantage to scare off the local predators, the fossa, and has plans to keep them for his protection. Three of the Travellers are happy in Madagascar but Alex the lion is desperate for steak to the point his natural instincts take over and Marty becomes potential food. But all ends well, and Alex manages to scare off the fossa and they celebrate in the jungle with a party.
The cast of 12 worked hard in the high energy and fast-moving show but also with many puppets. The puppets- penguins, lemurs and monkey were brought to life and were given such character by their puppeteer. Kieran Mortell was hilarious in the Austin Powers styled King Julien, his timing and delivery were very funny.
There were many catchy musical numbers, but our favourite was I Like to Move it!
My children aged 7 and 10 years adored every minute of the show. It is perfect length with the first act being around 40 minutes then a 20 minute interval and the second act was about 45 minutes so a manageable time for most children.
The King’s Theatre is located in Bath Street in Glasgow’s city centre. It is within walking distance of the main shopping area of Buchanan Street as well as the bus and train station. There is also car parking in the area. We sat in row D of the Grand Circle where our view of the stage was excellent.
Tickets cost from £13 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Madagascar the Musical is at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from 31 July to 4 August 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/kings or call the box office on 0844 871 7648.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648