What do we expect from a Children’s theatre show? Something to keep the kids entertained during the summer holidays that will give them something to look forward to? Or something to use as a bartering tool for the majority of the holidays (i.e. if you don’t eat all of your dinner we won’t go to see Scooby Doo).
There are a number of different shows for kids in London’s West End right now. From the brilliant The Gruffalo (I’ve seen it twice this summer), to the educational Horrible Histories in which both adults and children can learn a thing or two about our country’s past. Whilst Scooby Doo! Live Musical Mysteries isn’t all that bad, it’s certainly at the bottom of my list of recommendations this Summer.
The London Palladium has a Ghost terrorising its inhabitants and Scooby Doo and his pals have been called in to track down the ghost and solve the mystery. With ghosts stealing scooby snacks and a lot of running around from place to place without much real point, this 90 minute production gets tiring quickly and wasn’t particularly stimulating on the brain.
The saving grace in this show is its perfectly cast actors in their roles. Chris Warner as Fred, the Ken Doll esq blonde, Charlie Haskins as Shaggy the skinny guy who’s scared of his own shadow, Rebecca Withers as the busty red head Velma and Charlie Bull as the geeky detective Daphne. It is a shame we don’t see Joe Goldie’s comical face hiding underneath the dog costume of Scooby Doo as he really doesn’t get an opportunity to show himself as an actor.
Scooby Doo! Live Musical Mysteries has the backing of Warner Brothers and is being staged in one of London’s biggest theatre’s the London Palladium.With that in mind I was expecting a well designed set and somewhat of a spectacle. Sadly it was like they had taken a flat-pack set from Ikea and relied on stage management to wheel out the scenery when needed.
All this aside, you cant argue with the audience’s reaction and the children around me had a great time. If I wasn’t going deaf before hand then I certainly was after having hundreds of youngsters screaming in my ear repeatedly every time ghosts appeared on stage. This show may not have much in terms of appeal for the adults but the kids seemed to love it and so I guess it’s a job well done. But when you compare it to the quality productions that are on around the corner, this isn’t anything to get excited about.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Alastair Muir