City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Madagascar the Musical, Edinburgh Playhouse, Review

By Erin Roche - Posted on 03 October 2018

Show Details
Selladoor Family and Hartshorn - Hook Productions
Kevin Del Aguila (book), George Noriega and Joel Someillan (original music and lyrics), Kirk Jameson (director), Fabian Aloise (choreographer), Tom Rogers (designer), Howard Hudson (lighting designer), Chris Whybrow (sound designer), Mark Crossland (musical supervisor), Angharad Sanders (musical director), Max Humpries (puppet designer), Laura Rushton (costume supervisor), Robert Allsopp (creature costume maker), Emma Brunton (puppet director), Victoria Roe (casting director), Craig Forrest-Thomas (make up designer), Adam Taylor (associate sound designer), Phil Croft (assistant director), Keri Norville (assistant choreographer), Raffaella Mascia (company manager), Tom Pritchard (deputy chief electrician), Spencer Carlowe (stage manager), Rob Parkinson (sound no. 1), Kerry Sullivan (deputy stage manager), Liam Wilson (sound no 2.), Aaron Crofts (ASM carpenter), Vari Gardner (head of wardrobe), Ella Wheway (ASM book cover), Abbie Pillett (deputy head of wardrobe), Ben Webster (chief electrician), Ryan Tate (technical swing)
Matt Terry (Alex), Antoine Murray-Straughan (Marty), Jamie Lee-Morgan (Melman), Timmika Ramsay (Gloria), Jo Parsons (King Julien & Resident Director), Shane McDaid (male ensemble (Skipper), dance captain and understudy for Marty, Alex), Matthew Pennington (male ensemble (Lars) and understudy for Melman), Laura Johnson (female ensemble (Kowalski), assistant dance captain and understudy for Gloria), Jessica Niles (female ensemble (Private) and understudy for Gloria), Victoria Boden (female ensemble (Rico), Darren John (off-stage swing, resident musical director and understudy for Alex, Marty, King Julien), Brandon Gale (off-stage swing and understudy for King Julien, Melman, Alex)
Running time: 

The family film Madagascar by Dreamworks premiered in 2005; families everywhere were “moving it” to the cinema and to the subsequent sequels. This musical, currently seeing its UK tour after its 2011 premiere, brings this cutesy and condensed narrative to the stage.

Alex the lion is a showstopper at the Central Park Zoo. His cushy life is full of steaks served up rare, but his zebra friend Marty is itching to see how green the grass really is in “the wild.” Marty escapes, and Alex, along with giraffe and hippo friends Melman and Gloria, take to the New York subway to find him, only to find themselves then tranqulised and shipped off to an unknown wildlife preserve. Will the friendship between Alex and Marty survive when this lion’s house cat antics surrender to his killer instincts on an unexpected island marooning? Will these animals find that the wild isn’t all it’s “cracked-a-lackin” up to be?

In this production, the light shines on costume, puppetry and choreography. In a playful and creative display, most of the animals are played by puppeteers, designed by Max Humphries, bringing to life the scheming rookery of penguins or the neurotic demeanor of Melman the giraffe. While still animated and pleasant, this production lacks the sparkle and transcendent reimagining that has come from more successful movie-to-musical creations like your Shrek or Legally Blonde.

The cast is a talented bunch. The two leads carry the show with opposing strengths: Antoine as Marty the zebra has the bravado while Matt Terry, 2016 X Factor winner, as Alex the lion has the impressive voice. His Alex is a little tamer than expected, but his falsetto is truly wild. Timmika Ramsay as Gloria the hippo is delightful, and the scene stealer of the night is Jo Parsons as King Julien, who really knows how to make a crowd of children (and adults) laugh.

Ultimately, Madagascar the Musical is light, upbeat and polished, an entertaining family night out for adults and kids.

Photo credit: Scott Rylander

October 3, 14:30, 19:00
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October 6, 14:30, 19:00