This week we were invited to see Spongebob The Musical at the Hippodrome in Birmingham.
I didn’t see any previews before we went along, so wasn’t sure what to expect, but if you are planning on taking young fans of the cartoon, stop and read this first.
SpongeBob The Musical sees the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their home and they must come together to save the fate of their undersea world.
The show opens with a pantomime skit featuring Patchy the Pirate and some security guards, who amusingly chased him around the stage as he attempts to stay and meet his hero, Spongebob.
The show then opens to Spongebob asleep in his Pineapple and launches into an all-singing, all-dancing stage show.
I have to admit, I was expecting the characters to look more like they do in the show, but the bright and colourful costumes just capture the essence of each character; Mr Krab had red sparkly pincers, Plankton had an all-in-one suit that looked like he did in the cartoon, but it was Squidward Q Tentacles’ costume of four legs that made everyone chuckle as he came on stage.
That said, their characterisations were brilliant and there were lots of chuckles for the slapstick moments and when squeaky dog toys were used as the character footsteps as they scuttled around the stage.
Richard Arnold, from Good Morning Britain, was surprisingly good when he turns up on a TV screen as Perch Perkins, although we all were “is it him?” for a while. Divina DaCamp was brilliant as Plankton, but Gareth Gates stole the show as Squidward.
The songs are upbeat and fun, but nothing particularly memorable, despite being written by a host of different recording artists including the likes of Panic! at the Disco, Cyndi Lauper, and John Legend. Our favourite moment had to be Squidward’s tap dance in the second half and their impressive climb of Mount Humongous the volcano, but the story never really quite hit the spot with us.
Spongebob the Musical is on tour all over the UK in 2023