Review: Madagascar the Musical UK tour (Derry)

With front row seats I just wasn’t sure what to expect last night on the Derry stage. A lion, a zebra, a hippo and a giraffe as the lead characters, what was one to expect? Fun, laughter, bizarre musical theatre, that’s what. From the birthday cake for the zebra, to the skipping hippo, this show had lots of comic elements and yet it held my attention throughout.

With mother (in her 70’s) beside me, I thought maybe I’d done wrong bringing her. Mind you Matt Terry did tell me yesterday that it’s a show for all ages. He wasn’t wrong!

I saw mother swaying, and eventually clapping, and saying to me quietly, ‘they must be so fit’ – yes she was enjoying. And she continued doing so to the very end.

The story of Madagascar is focused primarily on four New York zoo animals: Alex the lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo. Thrust from their lives in the Big Apple, they become stranded on Madagascar with a horde of wild animals (creatures!!) – some friendly and then some carnivorous!!

There are singing steaks (they do make sense at the time), there is a very funny talking monkey and there are creatures of all sorts. And yet there is such a small cast. It just works. There are few tunes we’ll remember but one will go to bed humming ‘I like to move it…I like to move it’. But it just comes together and tells a very heartwarming tale of friendship.

Not a lover of reality TV and not a lover of X Factor, I do however love how this musical showcases Matt Terry as much more than a pop-star. This showcases not just his exceptional vocals but his ability as an actor too. He fits right in on the Musical Theatre stage and he owned it. As did his co-stars.

My favourite part of this show is the lovely relationship between Alex and Marty – Matt Terry and Antoine Murray-Straughan. The chemistry is real and it works so well. Friendship is at the heart of my life and this came across very strong last night from the lads. Together the cast provide much comedy and it’s just so alive, so colourful and loud.

Last nights cast were Matt Terry, Antoine Murray-Straughan, Timmika Ramsay, Jamie Lee-Morgan, Shane McDaid, Laura Johnson, Jessica Niles, Victoria Boden, Matthew Pennington and Darren John.

This wacky adventure for the whole family is brought to life by Selladoor Family, the producers behind James And The Giant Peach, Seussical and The Owl And The Pussycat and Hartshorn – Hook, producers of the Olivier Award winning RotterdamMurder Ballad, Urinetown and American Idiot . Madagascar – The Musical is directed by award winning Kirk Jameson with choreography from Fabian Aloise. Designed by Tom Rogers, with Lighting design by Howard Hudson, Sound Design by Chris Whybrow, Musical Supervision from Mark Crossland and Puppet Direction from Emma Brunton.

If you’re an animal lover or not, you’re sure to love this show. It has you hooked from the beginning.

Running at Millennium Forum Derry until this coming Saturday night, November 10th. Telephone 71 264455 or visit for bookings.


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