Review: The Spongebob Musical charms in Cardiff

The Spongebob Musical opened at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff last night to a packed audience and it was perfectly camp and fun for all the family with witty humour and catchy songs.

Written by Kyle Jarrow and conceived by Tina Landau, the musical is a must see for audiences both young and old with hilarious lines and cleverly portrayed characters.

The story follows the citizens of Bikini Bottom who discover that a volcano will erupt and destroy their home, Spongebob and his friends must come together to save their undersea world. Thought the musical there is great chemistry and conflict between the characters that teaches the younger audience about life and friendship.

Starring Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates who put in a hilarious performance as Squidward and Ru-Paul’s Drag Race legend Divina De Campo as the perfectly evil yet funny antagonist Plankton, the cast comes together to create an infectious performance that really hooks you.

The casting for this was on-point and you can view the entire cast and creatives list HERE

It features a wave of original songs with all different types of genres of music by some iconic rock and pop artists, including The Flaming Lips, Cyndi Lauper, John Legend and many more. With additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and additional music by Tom Kitt.

This production was really creative with the set (by Steve Howell) illustrating the iconic locations from the TV series and intertwining the band at the back. There are some great visual gags throughout with a clever use of sponges at one point and bubbles being a big part of the show. The music throughout is done really well with the use of people on the side making noises or playing instruments to create sound effects.

It was a joy to watch with a laugh a minute and good accuracy of characters bringing a nostalgic feel for those older fans with quotes from the show. The musical provided the unexpected with satire relating to the COVID pandemic and impressive dance numbers. There was a diverse cast who all provided unique performances with great fun energy and brilliant singing voices.

While the ending may be predictable, it doesn’t really matter because there are some great musical numbers with audience participation and interaction which makes it engaging for both children and adults.

All of the individual elements come together really well with great costumes (by Sarah Mercadé) and nostalgic moments that remind me of watching the show as a child. The songs really work well for this musical creating an atmosphere for the story.

The Spongebob Musical is overall a fun experience that is satisfying for the eyes and ears. It is a perfect watch for all the family and a great day out for the children. It has four star reviews across the board and received a standing ovation.

Definitely a musical that everyone should experience with a runtime of two hours and 15 minutes including an interval which is perfect for the audience. It is showing in the Wales Millennium Centre until the 10th of June with matinee and evening performances with tickets available from just £12. (Age guidance 5+)

To get tickets or view more information, visit the WMC’s website.

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