Make a move to see Julien’s jungle gang at Blackpool Opera House

Jo Parsons, centre, as King Julien the lemur in Madagascar The Musical

For more than a decade, families have been ‘Moving it’ to the sounds of the jungle gang in the Madagascar films.

And this week they’re moving into Blackpool Opera House with Madagascar The Musical from tonight until Saturday.

Marty the zebra is set to break out of New York’s Central Park Zoo, eventually finding his way to the land of King Julien and the lemurs.

Actor Jo Parsons brings to life the hyperactive King Julien, the character voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen in the film.

“Madagascar is the musical based on the movie, which was out in about 2007, and it’s very much based on that first film,” he said.

“But in addition we get more songs in it as well as the classic Move It.

“Marty the zebra breaks out of the zoo and his friends chase him, until they eventually end up in the land of King Julien and the crazy lemurs.”

At around two hours in length, including the interval, Jo says the musical is a great option for families - as well as it being a familiar tale for many youngsters.

“It’s a great show to do, the children in the audience are amazing to watch - especially when Move It comes on,” he added.

“And there’s a good bit of adult humour too, like in the movies, and really fast paced.

“Adults say it’s great to see their children having so much fun, and then that there’s something to make them laugh too.

“It’s also a really nice length - the first half’s just 38 minutes, so it’s ideal for younger audiences as you can get them home to bed at a reasonable time.”

And that’s not the only reason Jo’s in favour of the short running time, as he spends much of his time in the show on his knees as the diminutive monarch.

“King Julien is a crazy lemur, he’s got no barriers really,” he said. “He doesn’t understand the right things to say at the right time.

“I have a bit of a free licence with the part, and tend to ad lib quite a bit which is quite fun.

“Sacha Baron Cohen played him in the film and I think he went off script a bit, and if you didn’t it wouldn’t really work.”

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