Madagascar The Musical - A non-stop smile-fest

By Jamie Hill - 1 May 2019

Arts and Culture

REVIEW - Madagascar The Muscial at Oxford New Theatre which runs until Saturday 4 May.

There's nothing like seeing one of your children completely engrossed in something.

For my six year old daughter Amy seeing the antics of a lion, a zebra, a hippo and a giraffe as they sing and dance on stage was absolute heaven.

I had taken my two other slightly older children to the performance at The New Theatre and although they weren't leaping up from their chairs every two seconds, they were also transfixed with smiles on their faces.

This was Madagascar The Musical. All of my children had seen the animation a hundred times. They had laughed along with Alex The Lion and  Marty The Zebra as part of their general growing up landscape.

The stage version was great. The sets were amazingly well done and gave you the sense that you were actually inside the show with a great and very clever use of shipping crates and the costumes especially Melman The Giraffe were glorious.

As a story it is perfect kiddy fodder, there's no Pixar depth with The Madagascar films, just a laugh a minute riot of colour and pratfalls. 

Essentially some New York zoo animals end up in a shipwreck on Madagascar and get up to lots of high-jinks along the way.

The first act is set in the zoo but the show really hits its stride when it finally reaches Madagascar after the interval. This is where King Julian played by the amazing Jo Parsons comes along to steal the show. And he really does. Every moment he is on stage is just a non-stop hilarious laugh. Kids were literally rolling in the aisles.

As a musical it really works. The songs are fun and move the story along nicely but the whole theatre was foot-tapping along when it came to 'I like to Move it!' sung by King Julian. Fantastic.

As a family show you can't get any better than this. Definitely catch this whilst you can!


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