Lewis Cornay leads the cast of The Spongebob Musical - Photo: Mark Senior

It seems like almost everything is a musical these days, but very few provide the pure joy that seeps from every pore of The Spongebob Musical.

Based on the now 24-year old kid’s cartoon, the musical transports the mixfit cast of Bikini Bottom on to the stage and into human-esque form.

The show itself was never that keen on realism, so it’s best just to accept that your hero is a yellow sponge that lives at the bottom of the ocean, in a pineapple house, with a best friend who is an overweight pink starfish and they are both pals with a karate-loving squirrel who wears a spacesuit to survive underwater.

You might also want to take your sunglasses on to knock back the kaleidoscope of colours that dazzles from beginning to end.

Divina de Campo as Plankton in The Spongebob Musical - Photo: Mark Senior
Divina de Campo as Plankton in The Spongebob Musical – Photo: Mark Senior

Lewis Cornay is endearingly cute as Spongebob, with a cheeky grin and an enthusiastic energy that carries along the audience as much as the plot. Irfan Damani is a fabulous foil as the dumb but kind Patrick.

Of the two star turns Divina De Campo gives the best performance as the scheming Plankton, bring plenty of melodrama to the already ridiculous storyline. Gareth Gates as Squidward is perfectly enjoyable, particularly in the They Might Be Giant’s penned showtune I’m Not A Loser, but doesn’t deserve billing above Cornay.

The music throughout is catchy and well-written, which is not too surprising when you consider songs were penned by the likes of David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry.

But the script is what really elevates, with plenty of fleeting comic touches – like the lockdown parody posters and loo roll hoarding – and genuinely inventive staging. I loved the puppetry with a dozen sponges, particularly where they form a cape for Spongebob and others mime birds flying in the sky.

The show’s 10pm finish is possibly a little late for some of the younger audience members, but they’ll go to sleep happy. And so will you.