SpongeBob BringS the bright colours of Nickelodeon from under the sea to THE GOH STAGE
Based on the iconic TV series SpongeBob Squarepants, which unbelievably first bounced on to our TV screens in 1999 (I feel old!!) and has been entertaining generations of children and child like adults like myself ever since and has even spawned into several movies. The SpongeBob Musical features songs by the likes of Steve Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, John Legend and even the legend that is Cyndi Lauper so to say I was expecting some serious punches in terms of the musical scores would be an understatement….. did the show deliver…..a resounding YES! from both my 8 year old nephew and I!
The tour features the fabulously casted Lewis Cornay as SpongeBob and Irfan Damani as Patrick, a pairing made in comedy cartoon heaven! Throw in Ru Pauls Drag Race Finalist turned theatre star Divina de Campo as the incredibly pocket-sized villain Sheldon J. Plankton and Pop Idol alumni Gareth Gates as the comically 4 legged Squidward for an extra bit of razmataz and you have a show fit for families old and young alike.
The show follows the antics of the very same cast of nautical misfits as the celebrated animated tv series, The SpongeBob Musical sees a calamity rumbling away on the seabeds of Bikini Bottom, as a nearby volcano threatens to erupt and wipe out everyone’s ‘Best Day Ever’. Eternal optimist SpongeBob puts his trust in friendship and good times with his slightly dim bestie Patrick Starfish and the smarts of his science-y friend Sandy (a Texan squirrel, I don’t get it either but just roll with it ok! lol!) in setting out to save the day.
My 8 year old nephews brief but to the point review of the show was “SpongeBob is my favourite because the man is so funny and plankton and his girlfriend are really good baddies.”
With West End-worthy staging and brilliantly implemented video work with a scattering of puns and quips galore, at everything from the Government ’10 Drowning Street’ to slapstick COVID dictates’ ‘Stay indoors, Protect the kelp, Save lives’ and the a slew of pop stars ‘Tuna Turner’ and ‘The Spice Gills’ which didn’t go unnoticed by the adults members of the audience. At times the show feels like a hyperactive panto on fishy steroids than a conventional family musical theatre outing, but it maintains the energy levels throughout, and honours the manic spirit of the source material in the process, which is no mean feat. A constant tone of family friendly fun, it never feels too terrifying for younger audience members and similarly never too childish for the (cough) older audience members like me. Full of funny lines and some hilarious visual gags, the whole thing is a complete joy to watch.
The SpongeBob Musical plays The Grand Opera House Belfast to Sat 3rd June 2023.
Tickets can be bought online via www.goh.co.uk, via telephone number 02890241919 or at the box office in the actual Opera house at 2-4 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7HR.