The SpongeBob Musical

“This musical is a psychedelic acid trip of a show, but boy is it fun!”.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea………well you know the rest!  This musical is a psychedelic acid trip of a show, but boy is it fun!

The famous Nickelodeon character, SpongeBob SquarePants, together with his group of friends and archetypal baddie Sheldon J Plankton have burst onto the stage of the Birmingham Hippodrome with absolute flair, comic revel and complete joy for adult and child audiences alike.  I must admit having been really excited, if somewhat intrigued to see this musical. After a successful stint on Broadway, this show has finally made its way over the pond, and I have to say, I’m really glad it has!

There are so many things to talk about, so let’s get straight into it.  Firstly, the cast are completely incredible from start to finish.  Their level of unwavering energy is something to behold, not to mention the vocal talent which brings such life to the already quite infectious tunes.  We first meet SpongeBob SquarePants played superbly by Lewis Cornay.  Now, Lewis has clearly studied this ‘simple sponge’ character down to the smallest detail. The voice, the mannerisms and delivery are all completely spot on.  Lewis is a bundle of energy with the perfect voice to carry off many of the songs throughout the show including ‘Bikini Bottom Day’ and ‘Hero is my Middle Name’.  The songs in the show are penned by the likes of Cyndi Lauper, Panic at the Disco, They Might Be Giants and David Bowie and they are every inch big songs that really stick in your head.

SpongeBob’s best friend is of course Patrick Starr played by Irfan Damani. Damani is quite simply adorable in this role, playing the slightly dim and completely innocent Patrick.  Another fantastic show of vocal prowess by Damani came in a beautiful duet with Lewis Cornay, (I Guess) I Miss You.  It was a real heartfelt moment with stunning vocals.

There are so many wonderful characters to discuss including Squidward Q Tentacles, played by Gareth Gates (alternating with Tom Read Wilson in different locations). I will talk about the costumes later, but I think Squidward’s was my favourite.  Gareth Gates, no stranger to a musical, played Squidward perfectly with an air of misery, but with aspirations of being a big star. 

We also meet ‘baddie’ Sheldon J. Plankton played with absolute wonder by Divina De Campo.  RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 1 superstar Divina relished in bringing terror to the residents of Bikini Bottom and with Karen The Computer (Hannah Lowther) by Plankton’s side, they bought all sorts of mayhem to the stage.  Lowther and De Campo worked very well together providing some stand out moments and adding to the complete silliness of the show.

Karen The Computer (Hannah Lowther), Sandy Cheeks (Chrissie Bhima), Pearl Krabs (Sarah Freer), Eugene Krabs (Richard J Hunt), Old Man Jenkins (Reece Kerridge), Larry the Lobster (Theo Reece), Mayor (Rebecca Lisewski) and Mrs Puff (Eloise Davies) not only played their own roles exceptionally well but doubled up as ‘Sardines’ and ‘Anemones’ throughout the show, proving that a strong ensemble cast really do complete the show.

The costumes deserve a mention.  Designed by Sarah Mercadé, they have all been made from second hand clothing, adapted for the stage with the use of carrier bags, rubber gloves, and plastic cups, championing a reduce, reuse, recycle ethos.  All the costumes are bright, colourful and eye-catching. You knew exactly who each character was meant to be.  Director Tara Overfield Wilkinson has created a wonderful spectacle with not just silliness on stage, but important messages of friendship, exclusion, climate change and community.  These messages are important, especially when the majority of the audience are children who need to understand the impact us humans are having on the world.

Choreographer Fabian Aloise has created some incredible dance numbers, including a wonderful routine involving neon sponges being flown around the stage by performers in black light.  This is so effective and made for another stand out moment.

As a whole, this show is bonkers, fun and silly, but really does make the audiences smile and laugh.  If you’re looking for a show, with an almost panto-esque style, then make sure you visit Bikini Bottom for the ‘Best Day Ever’.

SpongeBob The Musical is playing at the Birmingham Hippodrome until the 15th April 2023.  Tickets available here: The SpongeBob Musical – Birmingham Hippodrome

Full tour details can be found here: The SpongeBob Musical (

Photo credit: Mark Senior


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