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Madagascar – The Musical Adventure
Ipswich Regent Theatre
X-Factor winner Matt Terry plays Alex the Lion in this stage musical of the popular DreamWorks animation. If you haven’t seen the film before, you’d only slightly struggle at the beginning when the animals and zoo are introduced very quickly. There is lots going on, but it isn’t essential as it’s a simple story of zoo animals escaping into the wild.
There are three other main characters alongside Alex (the Lion); Antoine Murray-Straughan as Marty (the Zebra), Timmika Ramsay as Gloria (the Hippo) and Jamie Lee-Morgan as Melman (the Giraffe). All good actors, singers and pretty good movers in their great costumes. Melman has a long neck (as you’d expect for a giraffe) and was expertly operated by Lee-Morgan as he managed to put the character into the costume.
The other characters were puppets of varying sizes. We had the penguins, the small, double jointed puppets which made them move in the right comedic way, then we have the lemurs which were half body height and strapped to the puppeteers. The puppeteers were not dressed to be inconspicuous, it was the complete opposite, but they melded into one as they were acting with their puppets, so it did pretty much work. There were five puppeteers, who did an excellent job of bring the puppets to life.
Jo Parsons saves the show with his hilarious King Julien with ridiculous accent and entertaining humour, whilst shuffling about on his knees.
The staging was simple but they needed space for the number of characters on the stage at once, and with the costumes, it’s not as though you didn’t realise they were animals. I liked the crate scene and the dream scene with the singing steaks – they both worked well.
The second half was certainly much better mainly due to the fuller scenes and party tracks with all the cast. Of course, “I Like To Move It, Move It” stole the show and everyone loved it.
A few words were lost due to the sound, but this is a kids show and I don’t think they cared. They loved the bright colours, the music and they had some giggles. After the final big happy song and the bows were over, they gave us another quick rendition of “I Like To Move It, Move It” for all to get up and dance to, which we did.
It’s light-hearted family entertainment and the Ipswich Regent has all the facilities needed for a good time to be had by all.
The show runs at the Ipswich Regent until Saturday 20th October, for tickets visit apps.ipswich.gov.uk/madagascar.
Then it continues on tour, for more information visit madagascarthemusical.co.uk.