Move it, move it for Madagascar

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Hit film Madagascar will be brought to life for audiences with a live show which is heading to the region next month. Katy Wheeler found out what can be expected from the tour and gives five families the chance to be there for free.

EXPECT a menagerie of fun when Madagascar hits the North East next week. That’s the promise from the producers of DreamWorks Madagascar Live! which is in the middle of its first UK arena tour.

All the film’s stars will be there – Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and the plotting penguins – but this time you’ll be able to see their antics live.

The song-filled show, which includes hit track Move It, Move It, follows the animals from their home at New York’s Central Park Zoo to when they find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

Director Gip Hoppe said: “It’s like a Broadway musical for the whole family. 

“We took the incredible adventure and amazingly funny and rich characters from the film and added some great songs.  

“There are beautiful sets and costumes that render the films wonderful artwork into a fully-realised dimensional world. The show is based on the original film and it tells the story that got the whole thing started.”

So what difficulties did he face in breathing new life into film characters?

“The main challenge is to stay true to the characters,” he said. 

“To me, Madagascar is really about friendship and seeking your true place in the world. These characters are so beautifully developed – and funny.” He added: “The biggest difference is that arenas don’t have fly galleries – so the scenery has to arrive on stage in a different way.   

“Our scenic designer, Dave Gallo, has done an incredible job of rendering the world of an animated film to the stage.

“From the subways of New York to the majesty of a giant cargo ship to the rich and vivid jungles of Madagascar, it’s all there right in front of you.”

The show toured the US last year, but there’s been a couple of changes thrown into the mix since then.“Yes – we have some new scenes that involve the audience – and a certain group of penguins, but that’s all I can say,” said Gip. “You have to see the show.”

* DreamWorks Madagascar Live! is at Metro Radio Arena on Friday, February 8, at 6.30pm; on February 9, at 11am, 3pm and 6.30pm and on February 10 ,at noon and 4pm.

For tickets visit www.metroradioarena.co.uk/buying-tickets/

* For more information on the show visit www.madlive.co.uk