There was a distinctly yellow and blue feel to the Wolverhampton Grand last night, as ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ arrived in town for a week long run. Based on the much loved animated Nickelodeon series, the musical promises so much and delivers on all counts. Working as a family friendly musical that makes rye nods to everything from global warming to the Covid 19 pandemic, SpongeBob is a musical that has a whole lot of heart. I liked it a lot.
The action takes place under the sea in Bikini Bottom, a happy place where everyone lives in harmony, with the exception of Sheldon J Plankton, who is constantly trying to think of ways to hypnotise the creatures in order to become the most popular restaurant in Bikini Bottom. Our hero, SpongeBob Squarepants, longs to manage the most popular restaurant, run by Eugene Krabs, but Eugene says he will never be up to the job as a mere sponge. But when the whole of Bikini Bottom is faced with catastrophe due to the awakening of a long dormant volcano, it is SpongeBob, along with his best friends Patrick Star and Sandy Cheeks who have to save the day.
This is a bright, colourful musical that is a feast to both the eyes and the ears. It is wonderfully staged, with gloriously colourful costumes and sets that will certainly appeal to younger viewers, whilst the choreography often owes a nod to Busby Berkeley chorus lines. The songs are a brilliant mixture of vintage style standards, modern rap, even a nod to gospel choirs, and this is why the musical works, because it is all over the top and wonderfully entertaining at all times.
The cast are perfect, from the lovely Lewis Cornay as the sweet, super cute SpongeBob, to Irfan Damani as his loyal and funny best friend Patrick. The brilliant Divina De Campo once again proves why she is a superb theatre star as the (slightly) villanous Sheldon, whilst Tom Read Wilson brings a real pathos to the lovely Squidward, desperately awaiting his big moment on the Bikini Bottom stage. This musical number was my favourite of the night, I loved the idea of a chorus line with a couple of extra legs! Shout outs also have to go to the fabulous vocal talents of both Chrissie Bhima as Sandy, and Sarah Freer as Pearl.
The SpongeBob Musical is one of those shows that just leave you smiling all the way home. Perfect family entertainment!
THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL
28 Jun–01 Jul 2023
Click here to visit Wolves Grand for ticket informatio.