Madagascar The Musical - Our Review

September 6, 2018 by Leigh-on-Sea

After 6+ weeks of the school holidays, there comes a time when I am fresh out of ideas. We have been on holiday, pitched a tent, swam in the sea, gone on a bike ride, felt queasy at Adventure Island, argued about the merits of reading a book and explored every beach within a 10-mile radius. What the hell else is left? 

Safe to say, Madagascar: The Musical at The Cliffs Pavilion in Southend, could not have come at a better time!  It’s bold, colourful, toe-tapping fun and a great treat to end the holidays or even celebrate the start of a new term! 

Joined by my 9 and 7-year old, we are old pros when it come to the DreamWorks film version of Madagascar having watched the film, and subsequent sequels, around 7,635,523,876 times. The stage version stays true to the original in terms of the story although it is condensed down into a short and snappy adaptation leaving no time for fidgety bottoms.

For those who have not had the pleasure, Alex the Lion, played by X Factor winner Matt Terry, is the king of the urban jungle and the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo.  He and his best friends, Marty the Zebra (Antoine Murray-Straughton), a characterful Hippo Gloria (Timmika Ramsay) and a loveable Giraffe called Melman (Jamie Lee-Morgan) live in blissful captivity with regular meals and an admiring public.  But is there a world beyond the fence? Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.

Fantastic costumes and puppetry bring these characters to life and the kids (and adults!) simply love them. Cleverly, the Penguins of Madagascar and King Julien (Jo Parsons) are brought to the stage in a most imaginative way and are utterly hilarious. Their rendition of ‘Move It, Move It!’ was one of my favourite parts of the show, full of so much energy I found myself bouncing along in my seat, much to my children’s embarrassment.

It is a musical and, to be honest, I thought some of the songs slowed the pace at times but overall they were very easy listening and full of crowd-pleasers.  The dancing is impressive considering the amount of costumes and mechanics that have to be manoeuvred around.  The staging is simple but effective. 

Ok, so it’s not quite Lion King but, for a really enjoyable night out, this is a definite hit!  My kids thought it was ‘brilliant!’  A lovely way to end the summer hols.

The evening shows start at 7pm and you are on your way home by 8.45pm so perfect for the little ones. Evening and matinee performances finish on Saturday 8th September so you will need to ‘move it, move it’ to get those tickets (groan).  Enjoy!

To book your tickets please click here