Skip to main content

30th April 2023

Spongebob swims into Opera House Manchester

The Spongebob Musical comes to Opera House Manchester as part of its first ever UK tour, starring Tom Read Wilson, Divina de Campo and Hannah Lowther
Spongebob swims into Opera House Manchester
The Spongebob Musical

The Spongebob Musical. I know what you’re thinking. What the fish? But, believe it or not, the musical opened on Broadway to critical acclaim, and with a whopping 12 Tony Award nominations, it tied with Mean Girls for the most-nominated production at the 72nd Tony Awards in 2018.

The musical embarked on a US tour in late 2019 but it closed in early 2020 because of that pesky pandemic. All UK audiences had was the television special featuring members from the original Broadway cast.

Until now.

The Spongebob Musical – called SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical on Broadway – recently began its UK tour, and it’s shortly swimming into Manchester!

Plunge into this stunning, all-singing, all-dancing, dynamic stage show! When the citizens of Bikini Bottom discover that a volcano will soon erupt and destroy their humble home, SpongeBob and his friends must come together to save the fate of their undersea world! With lives hanging in the balance and all hope lost, a most unexpected hero rises up. The power of optimism really can save the world!

The production stars Celebs Go Dating Star Tom Read Wilson as Squidward (he’s sharing the role with singer Gareth Gates) and Ru-Paul’s Drag Race legend Divina De Campo as Plankton. The first time I saw de Campo onstage was in the musical Dancing Bear at the Palace Theatre. I was then in the audience of All Together Now, which they judged. I later reviewed Drag Fest 2023, which they performed at, and attended the press night of Hedwig, in which they played the title character. I just know they’re going to kill it as the fabulous, villainous Plankton!

The title character is played by emerging star Lewis Cornay, whilst TikTok sensation Hannah Lowther plays Karen.

Based on the series by Stephen Hillenburg, The SpongeBob Musical, written by Kyle Jarrow and conceived by Tina Landau, features a tidal wave of original songs by the world’s most iconic rock and pop artists, including Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles (who wrote the music and lyrics for Waitress), Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady A, Cyndi Lauper (who wrote the music and lyrics for Kinky Boots), John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and songs by David Bowie, Tom Kenny and Andy Paley. Additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton and additional music by Tom Kitt.

An exciting new production featuring irresistible characters, magical choreography and dazzling costumes, this deep-sea pearl of a show is really set to make a splash with audiences young and old as the must-see musical of 2023. The future is bright, the future is bold, the future is The SpongeBob Musical.


The Spongebob Musical runs at Opera House Manchester from May 16 to 21 and tours the UK until early September.

Please note: Divina de Campo will perform in all cities whilst Gareth Gates and Tom Read Wilson will alternate the role of Squidward. Currently, neither actor is set to appear in the last three cities.

Jay Darcy

Jay Darcy

Theatre Editor. Instagram & Twitter: @jaydarcy7. Email: [email protected].

More Coverage

The Crown Jewels review: We are not amused

The Crown Jewels is having its regional premiere at The Lowry – but not even an all-star cast and the Queen of the West End can save this royally unfunny script

Annie review: A fab-u-lous family spectacular

Annie sweeps Manchester off its feet with song, sass, and dreams. But act fast: by ‘Tomorrow’, tickets might be gone!

Great Expectations in the Raj: In conversation with Tanika Gupta

The Mancunion spoke to playwright Tanika Gupta about her newest adaptation of Dickens’s Great Expectations – a re-imagining which casts new historical and political light on the literary classic

Review: Great Expectations

Tanika Gupta’s rendition of Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations kicks off the Royal Exchange Theatre’s Autumn/Winter season with an exciting Bengali twist on a British classic