Review: Madagascar Live at the LG Arena, Birmingham
With the UK falling foul to snowy weather, I braved the equivalent of a mini Ice Age in order to check out the film-to-stage live adaptation of Dreamworks’ blockbuster movie Madagascar.
While there may have been panic in the supermarkets and on the roads due to adverse weather conditions, the LG staff and Madagascar Live team did their best to honour the show, keeping the public aware it was still going ahead via social networking platforms and ensuring that no matter how cold it seemed outside the venue, the cast was determined to create a beautiful sandy beach inside drenched in the light (if not heat) of a tropical sunshine.
The crew may well have expected a poor turn out but they were still met with a reasonable amount of excitable children and willing parents despite difficult climate and transport conditions.
The show itself was clearly aimed at the pre-teen market but still promised all the same fun and laughter for the family that the movie franchise has so well delivered, all of which the live version seemed to follows in its entirety.
Starting at a the New York Zoo, where the animals choose to break free, we follow their journey through the subways of NYC trying to evade capture and then onto the boat where eventually they end up in Madagascar. Here of course they create new friendships, meet some memorable lemurs with some dire consequences and are forced to explore the wild together in order to survive.
All the major characters are present either through actual actors or the use of puppetry and the performances numbers are well sung, danced, written and crafted by the whole cast, with some great attention to detail. Even as a 28-year-old I found myself grinning rather often, and this was echoed by the laugh out loud reactions of fellow parents and adults.
My only criticism was that it felt like it ended rather prematurely, but then leaving people wanting isn’t necessarilly a bad thing.
VERDICT: Madagascar Live! offers a good family show with some audience participation and is manned by a pleasant crew. If you’re are stuck for ideas as to where to take your children and they, like my nephews, love the films then look no further and visit the sunny shores of Madagascar… this winter. The show runs through until early March at various UK venues, and us Midlanders who missed out or got snowed off (and didn’t catch the two remaining dates at the LG Arena), can take a small trip up the motorway to Nottingham between the 1-3rd February and catch it at the Capital FM Arena. Let’s hope there’s a Madagascar 2 for next year!