‘Rock Pool’ first and foremost is a story about friendship, determination, acceptance and community. Its ecological themes are there for all to see, but as part of a lovely wider story. In conjunction with the musical, teachers can develop the environmental theme or not as they see fit, knowing their own pupils and how they want to consider this aspect of the curriculum. The teachers notes and activities that are included in the book should help with this. But more than anything, this is a musical which works well in its own right - as a fun, light-hearted, “rockin” musical that the children will adore performing and that teachers will enjoy staging.
At the Briny Rock Pool (WELCOME TO THE ROCK POOL), we meet an array of amazing rock pool creatures, from barnacle commentators and hermit crabs who are moving house to ‘rockin’ starfish and starstruck crabs (STARFISH BAND).
One crab (Crabby) is particularly starstruck and wishes more than anything that he could join the starfish band. But his guitar playing isn’t up to scratch and the starfish refuse him a place. Sideways, his loyal friend, suggests that more practise might help. Meanwhile, as high tide approaches, three little fish, Chips, Finn and Gilly try to escape a hungry sea scorpion, before they all dive for cover to avoid the waves.
Underwater, Crabby auditions unsuccessfully for the band once again. Sideways advises that he needs a teacher, but there aren’t any guitar teachers at the Briny Rock Pool. Crabby feels his dream being dashed (CRABBY HAS A DREAM). As the tide retreats, we meet some unwelcome jellyfish who have been washed into the pool. Though they don’t normally eat mussels, they decide that there’s always a first time. The mussels distract the jellyfish by playing some of the starfish band’s music to them (WE LOVE JELLYFISH). Crabby is practising his guitar on the edge of a rock. Sideways tries to relocate him, but Crabby doesn’t heed the advice and, when the next high tide arrives, he is swept off. Much to the dismay of Sideways and the other rock pool inhabitants - can’t be found anywhere.
Crabby is anxious when he finds himself at the Blue Rock Pool where he encounters some rather unwelcoming characters. He is saved by Cuddles, a friendly lobster who takes him to see Clawdius, who just happens to be a lobster guitar teacher.
The creatures at the Briny Rock Pool are increasingly worried about Crabby. They all decide to sing a song with the starfish band in the hope that Crabby will hear it and be guided back (WHERE ARE YOU CRABBY?).
At the Blue Rock Pool guitar lessons are in full swing. Crabby thinks he hears the starfish band but presumes he is mistaken. Meanwhile, Octavia, a visiting hungry octopus who is above her station is on the lookout for a crab dinner. She realises that she’s no match for the lobsters, but this doesn’t stop her singing about her ‘royal’ self in true show off fashion (QUEEN OF THE SEA).
It’s been six months and the inhabitants of the Briny Rock Pool are still missing their dear friend Crabby. As high tide approaches again, they try, unsuccessfully, to cheer each other up with a few jokes.
At the Blue Rock Pool, the lobsters have been planning Crabby’s trip home, though Crabby feels that he needs a lot more guitar practise first. With encouragement he is guided back to the Briny Rock Pool at the next high tide.
The creatures of the Briny Rock Pool hear music. Assuming they are listening to the starfish band, they are surprised and overjoyed to see Crabby appear, but even more amazed to see him playing a star attraction mean guitar with the lobsters backing him. The friends are all together again and Crabby realises his dream as the starfish welcome him with open arms into their band (TOGETHER AT THE ROCK POOL).