Review | Madagascar The Musical (UK Tour)

Madagascar The Musical has stopped off at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent and we sent Dan Townley to the Hanley venue.

The show follows Alex the lion (Alex Hewlett), the king of New York City and the main attraction at New York's Central Park Zoo. We meet his best friends in the number Showtime!; Marty the zebra (Francisco Gomes), Melman the giraffe (Joshua Oakes-Rogers) and Gloria the hippo (Jarneia Richard-Noel), the group have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity. Yet Marty, not content, lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape with the help of some prodigious penguins. Stumbling upon King Julien's (Karim Zerquel) surreal and eccentric Madagascar.

Madagascar is a firm favourite in our household so before we even got to the theatre excitement was at a high (not just from my 5-year-old son, but from me as well!) and the Regent Theatre do better than most to further build that excitement from the moment you step through the door of the auditorium.

There was a well-stocked merch stand with a range of products relating to the show including headbands and tails to dress like your favourite character and of course, the confectionary stall is always a big hitter – even more so with their dedicated ‘Madagascar Offer’ which came with popcorn, sweets and a drink for £10.

We always find the staff at the Regent Theatre to be helpful and welcoming but their ability to make the trip to the theatre extra magical for younger audience members is fantastic and really adds to the overall experience.

Karim Zeroual King Julien in Madgascar (Credit Phil Tragen)


On to the show – as I mentioned the film version of Madagascar is a favourite at home, so to have that story retold on stage was a huge hit with Townley Jr – I was originally going to write this through his eyes and thoughts but he simply said ‘Daddy that was BRILLIANT’ and ‘I WANT TO GO WATCH THAT AGAIN!’ and I don’t think that would’ve made much of an article!

But he’s right, the show IS brilliant – it’s extremely well-performed and well-paced making it an ideal night out for all of the family.

All of the actors on stage bring the characters to life and after you get over the initial amazement at the puppetry skill, you buy into each of their stories and performances especially the four lead characters Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria.

The standout moment though was the entrance of King Julien with his highly anticipated performance of “I like to Move it” a fantastic start to the second act and sets the tone for the fast-paced remainder of the show.

If you’re a fan of the film, this stage version is not to be missed – it’s got all of the good bits from the 2005 classic and more and it’s definitely one for the whole family.

Rating * * * 

Madagascar The Musical is at The Regent Theatre until Sunday 19th May 2024. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

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