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Madagascar musical showcases diverse talents – Inclusive performance takes to the stage

Flagstaff Team

Modelling Madagascar characters are: Melman the Giraffe – Matthew Whittington; Alex the Lion – Anna Stevenson; Gloria the Hippo – Amber Stevenson; King Julien the Lemur – Arika Parker-Wendt. Photograph: Andi Crown

A deaf interpreter will recite the entire script of the children’s musical Madagascar at an all-inclusive performance of the children’s musical at the Rose Centre.

The cast includes 41 children, most of whom live locally. Aged from 6 to 18 years, almost half the cast have a learning difference or disability, including autism, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome and spina bifida.

Based on the 2005 animated movie, the show is being produced by Touch Compass Dance Company.

Director Charlotte Nightingale says audiences should be prepared for the children to steal the show… and their hearts.

The musical will also be fully accessible, including deaf signage by a young interpreter who is deaf herself. The interpreter will be learning the entire script word for word. This is a practice that is unique to New Zealand.

The group will be performing a special relaxed show – with quieter sounds and slower movements – for younger theatre-goers with autism and sensory sensitivities.

One show will be audio-described for those who are blind or have low vision.

Prior to the relaxed show and the audio show there will be a “touch tour” of the props and stage.

• Madagascar – A Musical Adventure Junior runs at The Rose Centre from Thursday, 16 May until Sunday, 19 May. Adults $15, children 8 and under $8 and senior citizens $10. Buy tickets online at iticket.co.nz

This article originally appeared in the April 26 edition of the Rangitoto Observer. Download PDF.