Based on the hugely popular Dreamworks animation, Madagascar The Musical has finally arrived at Bradford’s Alhambra Theatre, bringing the much-loved 13-year-old film to life in an energetic whirl of funky dance routines and toe tapping songs.

Staying true to the original plot, Selladoor Worldwide takes the audience on a journey from New York’s Central Park Zoo, where main attraction, Alex the lion, is busy soaking up the adulation and free steaks, whilst his best friend, Marty the zebra, longs to run free in the wild. Discovering that the penguins have a plan to escape, Marty and Alex take the giant step to join them, shortly followed by Gloria the hippo and Melman the hypochondriac giraffe. Testing their friendship, they find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.

The draw for much of the audience is definitely 2016 X Factor winner Matt Terry, whose solid theatrical debut as the loveable Alex with his infectious enthusiasm and impressive falsetto certainly wowed the audience. Coupled with the outstanding puppetry talents of the ensemble and ingenious set design, the musical flows with ease weaving from one original song to another, enabling the audience to distinguish the stage version from the movie.

Gloria, played by Timmika Ramsey, is equally as talented as the diva matriarch, keeping her boys in tow and handling the hilarious Melman played by Jamie Lee-Morgan, in what must have been an extremely heavy costume. The amazing Antoine Murray-Straughan puts his own unique spin on the character of Marty zebra, building firmly upon on Chris Rocks original style. But stealing the show, however, was the hilarious Jo Parsons, as the beloved King Julien, who leads the cast in the musical highlight of the night, ‘Move It’.

Starting earlier for the younger audience and sticking to a compact 100 minutes including interval, Madagascar The Musical is incredibly polished, upbeat and fun filled, and is a must for fans of the original movie.