Press Contact: Megan Stone
Selladoor Worldwide and Theatre Royal Plymouth are delighted to announce that popular TV presenter, theatre performer and Strictly Finalist Karim Zeroual will lead the cast of the brand-new tour of smash-hit family favourite Madagascar The Musical as the hilarious King Julien.
Karim Zeroual is a television presenter and theatre performer best known for anchoring CBBC and reaching the final of Strictly Come Dancing in 2019. In television, he has hosted BBC’s Young Dancer of the Year and BBC Four’s Dance Passion as well as fronting events with the BBC National Orchestra. In 2020, he presented BBC Bitesize, educating the nation’s children during lockdown. He could also be seen on in numerous TV shows, including EastEnders, Da Vinci’s Demons and The Sparticle Mystery, alongside reality shows including Celebrity Best Home Cook on BBC One and Celebs Go Dating. No stranger to the stage, Karim’s West End performances include Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion King and Here Come The Boys.
Karim said of playing King Julien:
“I’m really excited, I love the film dearly, it’s one of my favourites. King Julien is such an iconic character I’m looking forward to getting down and ‘winding my body!’ to Move it Move it! Theatre is actually my one true love. I trained at theatre school and started my career in the West End. I’ve been doing a lot of TV recently so coming back to theatre feels like coming home. There’s nothing like a live audience in front of you. I really can’t wait”.
Joining Karim on stage will be Laura Marie Benson (Kowalski), Francisco Gomes (Marty), Aidan Harkins (Swing), Joseph Hewlett (Alex), James Hilton (Ensemble), Gabriel Hinchliffe (Swing), Ella Howlett (Rico), Connor Keetley (Skipper/ Maurice), Brogan McFarlane (Private/ Mort), Joshua Oakes-Rogers (Melman) and Jarneia Richard-Noel (Gloria).
The musical will open at Theatre Royal Plymouth on 20 October before visiting a further 30 venues across the UK and Ireland in 2023 and 2024.
Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, Madagascar – The Musical follows all of your favourite crack-a-lackin’ friends as they escape from their home in New York’s Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien’s Madagascar.
★★★★ ‘A joke-filled night of puppetry, whimsical humour and dazzling design’ What’s On Stage
★★★★ ‘Crack-a-lackin’ feel-good family show’ Manchester Evening News
Alex the lion is the king of the urban jungle, the main attraction at New York’s Central Park Zoo. He and his best friends – Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo – have spent their whole lives in blissful captivity before an admiring public and with regular meals provided for them. Not content to leave well enough alone, Marty lets his curiosity get the better of him and makes his escape – with the help of some prodigious penguins – to explore the world.
This wacky adventure for the whole family is brought to life as a co-production with Theatre Royal Plymouth and Selladoor Worldwide, the producers behind Guess How Much I Love You, Mr Men and Little Miss, Footloose and Fame, who toured Madagascar the Musical to huge Critical acclaim in 2018/2019. Selladoor have just finished a superb London season of The SpongeBob Musical in partnership with The Path Entertainment Group.
Madagascar The Musical is directed by award-winning Kirk Jameson with choreography from Fabian Aloise with Musical Supervision from Mark Crossland, Puppet Design by Max Humphries and Puppet Direction from Emma Brunton. It is based on original set designs by Tom Rogers.
Stuart Glover Creative Producer of Madagascar for Selladoor said: “We are delighted that Karim and this sensational cast will be joining us for the tour of Madagascar. We know our audiences are going to go wild for this perfect treat for the whole family.”
James Mackenzie-Blackman, CEO & Executive Producer at Theatre Royal Plymouth said: “All of us at TRP are thrilled to be co-producing this fantastic family musical. Karim will be the perfect King Julien and we can’t wait to welcome the company to Plymouth.”
Join Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the hip hip Hippo and those hilarious, plotting penguins as they bound onto stage in the musical adventure of a lifetime. Filled with outlandish characters, adventure galore and an upbeat score, you’ll have no choice but to “Move It, Move It!”
Tickets start from £18 and can be purchased now from the Theatre Royal Plymouth website.