A hypochondriac giraffe, a superstar lion with a big ego, a zebra who yearns for freedom and a hippo with the strongest New York accent around are the main characters in the first half of “Madagascar – the Musical”, the Dreamworks stage adaptation of the movie franchise which I saw at the Wales Millennium Centre on Tuesday evening. I almost forgot to mention the wisecracking penguins who made regular appearances and threatened to steal the show every time!
Seeing the film come to the stage in a new adaptation brings an element of trepidation and I was actually pleasantly surprised with what they managed to produce. To cut a long story short the show follows a bunch of pampered zoo creatures from New York as they attempt to escape captivity and end up on the titular island of Madagascar, surrounded by a horde of wild creatures, where they must adapt to the wild and put their friendships to the test.
I was particularly impressed by the puppetry and by the dazzling design of the production. The suave penguins were effectively brought to life by a crew who seemingly went unnoticed by the younger half of the audience whose eyes were transfixed on the … puppets themselves! And, an important asset to any show, the set was colourful and imaginative and really helped to piece the story together. I particularly liked the use of packing crates that framed the stage.
Younger audiences will adore the animal characters in their imaginative outfits, and the puppets. In fact I think younger audiences will love everything about this energetic, loud and colourful production. Certainly lots of the younger children around us were up on their feet throughout and they all seemed to be enjoying themselves. By the end of the show the whole audience had joined them and were singing and dancing along to the “I like to move it” song made famous by the film. We all left the show having thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I would definitely recommend others to take the opportunity to see this fun and lively production.
Until August 11