Week 22/2023: A weekend of theatre

 Week of 29 May 2023

A weekend of theatre!

The SpongeBob Musical

Kramstable was in his school’s production of The SpongeBob Musical, which they’ve been working on since school started in February.

No, I didn’t know SpongeBob was a musical either until Kramstable told me that’s what they were doing. I’d seen the movie and it wasn’t really my thing. But my approach to musicals I don’t know is to find the soundtracks, so I know all the songs when I see the show.

Not because I want spoilers but because sometimes I find it hard to hear all the lyrics when people are singing and I get a bit lost.

I got a hold of the soundtrack and loved everything about it. Though it didn’t give the whole story away, I got the idea and I was very excited to see it in real life.

A stage with a red curtain set up with a red tent and a blue deckchair and a sign with the words 'Bikini Bottom'
The Spongebob stage and the kelpy kelp field

I noticed that the show’s director, Jeff, also said he originally hadn’t “had much faith in a musical based on a children’s show” but he had seen the light, citing the range of songwriters (including my beloved They Might Be Giants) and the wonderful characters. The undersea world in the show really is a reflection of what’s going on in our world right now.

The songs are infectious. I’ve been singing them for weeks.

They had two weeks of performances and I went the first week with my mother and Lil Sis to the Saturday afternoon matinee. My plan was to go with Slabs on the final night this Saturday, then Kramstable said if we did that I wouldn’t see the alternate cast—they double cast the main roles in the show and both the performances I was going to would have the same cast.

Since someone would have had to pick Kramstable up after the Friday night show, I volunteered and got a ticket to that show too.

It was fabulous. I loved seeing everyone performing the songs I’d become familiar with over the last few months live on stage and it was cool to see some of the students I’d known from Kramstable’s primary school days.

And I loved Kramstable’s performance too. He was well cast!

I could see how much the cast had improved and polished the show since I saw it last week.

The work they put into the set was fantastic too, re-using and repurposing as much as they could to create the world of Bikini Bottom.

A black wall decorated with repurposed materials to create a coral sea
The coral sea

The Gift

Because two shows over a weekend wasn’t enough, I also went to see a performance of The Gift at the Peacock Theatre on Saturday, which was staged by Hamley Productions.

This was a play written by Joanna Murray-Smith, which I knew very little about other than that it had a ‘secret’ that anyone who knew was sworn to, well, secrecy about. I was intrigued.

A long thin grey document with the words 'The Gift' held up in front of a theatre of red seats looking onto a stage
The Gift

It didn’t disappoint. I laughed, I nodded, and when I figured out what was about to happen, I was thinking, “no, they’re not . . . surely they’re not . . .?!” and I can’t stop thinking about it.

I hope that’s the reaction Chris, the director, wanted in relation to “the many layered conundrums” the show presented.

Week 22 summary

What was the best thing about this week?

Seeing the SpongeBob musical again.

What did I learn this week?

According to this article, allodoxaphobia is the overwhelming and irrational fear of other people’s opinions.

I’m not sure if I will ever use this knowledge anywhere, but now you know too.

What I’m reading this week

  • Me and My Big Mouth by Jan O’Connell
  • A Twentieth Century Life by Edith Emery
  • The Good Wife of Bath by Karen Brooks
  • Wintering by Katherine May
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