REVIEW - Spongebob the Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome made for absorbing theatre - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - Spongebob the Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome made for absorbing theatre

Bromsgrove Editorial 15th Apr, 2023 Updated: 15th Apr, 2023   0

GROWING UP watching SpongeBob on TV I must admit I was sceptical to how a musical version would live up to such a popular and long-running programme.

Well well, I took a deep dive into Bikini Bottom and it did not disappoint. The set (designed by Steve Howell) was vibrant and immediately entrancing. The costumes (Sarah Mercadé) were not mascots (as children’s TV show turned plays can often be) instead were realistic in design whilst still embodying each well-known sea creatures features and charisma.

Picture by Mark Senior. s

The plot centres around the threat of Mount Humongous’s pending eruption, where SpongeBob and his friends must rally together to save their undersea home.

Whilst our younger audience are engulfed in this fantasy world of bikini bottom, the storyline is certainly relatable to an older audience representing the  recent Covid-19 pandemic. With sea creatures panic buying toilet roll, the government holding public updates with calls to stay home – stay safe and of course the heightened and frequent news reports (which were cleverly executed through the use of videography within the ‘bubble holes’ on the wings).

The musical numbers were catchy and executed with high energy from every cast member.

The stand out number for me was ‘I’m a simple sponge’ SpongeBob’s solo, which was faultlessly performed by Lewis Cornay.

The choreography of fluorescent sponges was outstanding, a ‘simple sponge’ idea with a stunning effect.  Cornay’s performance as SpongeBob was remarkable throughout, he truly embodied the high energy and contagious optimism of SpongeBob.

Audience favourite Gareth Gates was unrecognisable in his performance of Squidward. Gates commanded the stage whenever he was on. Irfan Damani brings a great deal of humour as Patrick, SpongeBob’s best friend and side-kick.

And finally, what would a Spongbob show be without a cunning plot by villain Plankton, who was wonderfully played by Divina de Campo.

On the whole I thoroughly enjoyed the show, however I did find the pirate pre-show and post interval scene somewhat unnecessary. Whilst I understand this is in reference to the pirate portrait at the beginning of the TV show, it did not serve much purpose and the musical would be equally accessible and enjoyable for ages without this.

After The Birmingham Hippodrome, it continues it’s UK are Ireland tour.


Review by Olivia Skye for Euan Rose reviews


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