Golden Star

Marvellous Madagascar

performing arts academy


It seemed like a cast of thousands of young people on stage at The Downs, Wraxall, for a Footlights performance of Madagascar and they were all stars.

The youngsters had been practising for weeks after school on Wednesday at the dance studio at Blackfriars Road, Nailsea, to ensure they were singing, dancing and word perfect for the big show on Saturday, May 18.

After a previous performance of Back To The Woods I didn’t think this super troupe could be more perfect but they were.

From the smallest dancer (some secretly waving shyly to parents watching) to the professional senior principals everyone was amazing.

The Downs theatre isn’t my favourite as it is dark with lots of smalll steps and the sounds isn’t always successful but what the surroundings lacked the talented children more than compensated.

You really believed Alex the lion (Maddie) was best friends with Marty the zebra (Cianna) whose duets were wonderful.

You really wanted to take Melman the hypochondriac giraffe (Ruby) straight to the surgery after the show and Gloria the hippopotamus (Faith) showed us all how to ‘move it, move it’ despite being bulked up with a pretty pink tutu on top.

Phoebe almost stole the show as King Julien with a crest of rainbow feathers who spoke in Jamaican patois throughout but the comedic timing of the plotting penguins led by a character straight out of Dads Army also deserves a very well done.

Full marks to the make-up artist(s) and the backstage crew.

Madagascar was a musical adventure from New York’s Central Park Zoo to being shipwrecked on an island off Africa.

But freedom in the wild lost some of its glamour when it came to feeding time and fending for themselves for this foursome and their followers.

An audience member remarked: “Excellent eye-catching costumes, great friendship and interplay between Alex and Marty, lovely small intimate venue and a wonderful feel-good experience.”

Carol Deacon


Footlights footnote: The performance academy has been going since 2007 and is a dance, vocal and acting school.

It nurtures and encourages potential from children aged three building confidence, forging friendships while letting the children have fun.

Footlights director Tina Kelly has enjoyed an extensive professional dance career throughout her life and now passes on her passion for the performing arts.

To learn more click HERE.

All photographs copyright of Footlights.

Stage Lighting Setup