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Review The SpongeBob Musical

Review THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. The Company. Photo Mark Senior
17 May 2023

The Spongebob Musical has arrived at the Opera House Manchester and we were invited along to check it for a review. 

Already a hit in the USA since its premiere in 2016, the musical stage show of the popular cartoon has commenced its first-ever UK tour. 

We sent along our On The Go Reviewer Joe and his ten-year-old daughter to see the pineapple under the sea in Manchester and you can discover what they thought below.

Review The SpongeBob Musical, Manchester Opera House

Review THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. The Company. Photo Mark Senior
Credit Mark Senior

I am not afraid to admit I love The Spongebob Squarepants cartoons and was over the moon when my daughter started to watch them with me. 

On hearing about the new SpongeBob musical I was sceptical that this fun animation could be brought to life on the stage without losing what makes Spongebob, Spongebob! Fans of the show will be relieved to hear that I had no need to worry.

Starting with a fun panto-style song about life in the undersea town of Bikini Bottom, introducing the characters along the way.

Before long the storyline develops to see SpongeBob and the gang going on an adventure to save Bikini Bottoms from a volcano which is about to erupt. 

As the always optimistic sponge tries to find solve the crisis, the baddie of the show,  Sheldon J Plankton has plans to use the situation to his own advantage in order to take over the undersea town. 

Review THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL Lewis Cornay 'SpongeBob'. Photo Mark Senior
Credit Mark Senior

Lewis Cornay plays a very accurate SpongeBob. Sporting yellow-tinted hair, aqua-blue glasses and a funky bubble print shirt, he has the well-loved sponge’s mannerisms and voice down to a T.

Bringing lots of energy to the character, he proved he could also sing and dance along with having perfect comedy timing. 

Celebs Go Dating’s Tom Read Wilson took the stage as Squidward (with Gareth Gates covering the role at specific venues across the tour).  Showing off his singing skills in numbers such as “I’m Not a Loser”, he also brought some of the biggest laughs of the evening.

Watch out for his squelching legs and his quick costume change which my daughter has not stopped talking about. 

Review THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. Tom Read Wilson 'Squidward' and The Company. Photo Mark Senior
Credit Mark Senior

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Divina De Campo also deserves a mention in their role Sheldon J, Plankton along with Hannah Lowther as his computer wife. The pair made a perfect dastardly duo. 

Other standouts include Irfan Damani as Patrick the charming but dim-witted Starfish. Along with Rebecca Lisewski as the Mayor as she tried but somewhat failed to handle the crisis. 

Review THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL. Hannah Lowther 'Karen the Computer' and Divina de Campo 'Plankton'. Photo Mark Senior
Credit Mark Senior

I wouldn’t be doing the show justice if I didn’t mention the set and costumes. 

Although both were fun, colourful and looked spectacular on the stage they also sported an important eco message.

The volcano is made from single-use bottles, hats from discarded plastic such as straws and CDs and umbrellas as jellyfish. 

Mixed in amongst all the songs and comedy were subtle topical issues. From nods to how the covid crisis was handled by the government to squirrel Sandy Cheeks being labelled as a ‘land mammal’ and being forced to leave for being different.

With a cartoon adaptation, it would be easy to aim to appeal to younger audiences. This is not the case with SpongeBob the musical.

Although kids are much catered for there is lots of older fans audiences, making it a great show to enjoy as a family. 

The SpongeBob Musical is at the Manchester Opera House until Sunday 21st May 2023 – see here for ticket information.


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