Naomi MacKay joined Alex the Lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo for a fun-filled family evening of entertainment at Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Madagascar the Musical – would it be a just-for-kids show, or something the whole family could enjoy?
I’m happy to report that, like panto, it is a wonderful introduction to the theatre for small people – and their accompanying adults will have fun, too.
The show follows the story of the hugely popular first film in the Madagascar franchise, which sees Alex and friends escape Central Park Zoo in New York and land in ‘the wild’ in Madagascar.
The attention to detail is outstanding – from the costumes to the wonderful puppetry, which brings characters like the constantly-plotting penguins to life – ‘just stand and wave boys, stand and wave!’.
The cast are talented – singing, dancing, and puppeteering – and I was especially taken by Gloria the Hippo (Jarnéia Richard-Noel) who has a fabulous set of pipes and Joshua Oakes-Rogers as the hypochondriac giraffe Melman.
Act two sees the zoo friends – including lovable Marty the Zebra (Francisco Gomes) and steak-loving Alex the Lion (Joseph Hewlett) arrive in the wild, and discover that their friendships are really going to be tested.
This is when the whole show really steps up a gear – there are some adorable puppets, which had everyone going ‘awwww!’, singing steaks (they have to be seen to be believed) – and everyone’s favourite, King Julien (Karim Zeroual, from CBBC and BBC’s Strictly).
The songs are catchy – but it’s when Julien started singing I like to Move It, Move It, that the energy in the audience really changed. Act two went by in a flash, and with a final song, with the whole theatre on their feet and joining in, it was a fun night to remember for any first-time theatre goers.
It may be grey, cold and wet outside, but this show brings some colourful fun to a dull November evening. Move it, move it to get your tickets!
Madagascar the Musical is on until Saturday 18 November. Tickets are available at: www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury (bkg fee) or call 0844 871 7615 (Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per min plus your phone company’s access charge).