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Read: Madagascar the Musical will make you move it move it!

One of the reasons I love musical theatre is that it can completely change one’s mood and perspective on things. Last Friday, I’d had a bit of a trying day. I won’t go into the reasons why, but I was exhausted, and it was really cold outside. So the prospect of going to see Madigascar the Musical was a daunting one since being cold and tired can often amplify any negatives of a production. 

If you don’t know the story – where have you been? It’s based on the hit animated film Madagascar about a group of anthropomorphised animals from the New York Zoo who end up stranded on the eponymous island. They make friends and battle enemies. 

The musical more or less fits the same narrative, but of course does it with song and dance.

Although I’d seen the first film in the franchise, the musical was completely new to me. The delightful surprise is that with the exception of I Like to Move It, the rest of the music was new an fantastic. 

The characters are a mix of costumed players and puppets, and the entire cast were on top form, with well constructed characters, and perfect singing voices. Andrew Papas as Alex the lion was clearly the star, but his fellow performers supported him superbly. Stealing he show thought was Jonathan Martin as King Julien, the egotistical head lemur. Martin’s delivery was incredibly funny and created the greatest laughs in the show. What’s more he did it all on his knees as Julien is very short!

All up, Madigascar the Musical is a bright, funny and uplifting show, perfect for these cold winter nights and guaranteed to make you want to ‘move it, move it.


Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre, Aotea Centre
Dates: Thursday, 8 July – Sunday, 18 July
Times: Tuesday – Thursdays 6.30pm; Fridays 7pm; Saturdays 10am, 2pm & 7pm; Sundays 1pm & 5pm. Special matinee performance at 2pm, Wednesday, 14 August.
Opera House
Dates: Wednesday, 4 August – Sunday, 15 August
Times: Wednesday – Tuesday – Fridays 6pm; Saturday 10.30am, 2pm & 6pm; Sunday 1pm & 5pm. Additional matinee at 2pm Wednesday, 11 August
Isaac Theatre Royal
Dates: Wednesday, 18 August – Sunday, 22 August
Times: Wednesday 6pm; Thursday 2pm & 6pm; Friday 6pm; Saturday 10.30am, 2pm & 6pm; Sunday 1pm & 5pm.

more information and tickets


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