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Madagascar The Musical – Will have you out of your seats liking to MOVE IT, MOVE IT!

“Madagascar the Musical” took to the stage on opening night at the bustling Grand Opera House Belfast, bringing the iconic characters from the epic 2005 movie and Kevin Del Aguila’s book to life. Under the direction of Kirk Jameson and featuring original music and lyrics by George Noriega and Joel Someillan, the production was a delightful blend of storytelling and musicality. Fabian Aloise’s choreography, Tom Rogers’ set and costume designs, and Emma Brunton’s puppet direction all added layers of magic to the show.

The musical’s perfect running time of 40 minutes on each side of the interval struck a balance, engaging both children and adults. It captivated audiences, drawing them into the enchanting world of Madagascar while ensuring they were home in time for bed on a school night. The infectious energy of the performance was evident in the words of my 8-year-old nephew who declared Marty and King Julian (Connor Keetley owned this role!) as favourites and expressed pure joy at the musical numbers, particularly “I Like to Move It.”

The heart of the story follows Alex the lion, portrayed superbly by Joseph Hewlett, as the king of the urban jungle at New York’s Central Park Zoo. Alongside his friends Marty the zebra (brought to life humorously by Francisco Gomes), Melman the giraffe (played by Joshua Oakes-Rogers), and the sassy Gloria the hippo (skilfully portrayed by Jarneia Richard-Noel), the animals enjoy a life of comfort and routine in captivity. However, Marty’s adventurous spirit leads to a daring escape with the help of scheming penguins, propelling them into a whirlwind adventure beyond the confines of the zoo.

Audiences are invited to join Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, and the mischievous penguins on an unforgettable journey filled with laughter, friendship, and discovery. As the characters navigate through humorous escapades and unexpected challenges, the bond they share is tested, showcasing the importance of unity and courage in the face of the unknown.

For those eager to experience the excitement of “Madagascar the Musical,” the show runs at the Grand Opera House Belfast until Saturday 9th March 2024, promising an evening of joy and entertainment for all ages. For ticket bookings and additional information, visit Madagascar The Musical | Grand Opera House (

Review By Gary Campion


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