Scooby-Doo! The Mystery of the Pyramid
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by Hector Mackenzie
A PACKED Empire Theatre was testament to the enduring appeal of Scooby-Doo, a cartoon franchise that has reinvented itself for successive generations since its 1969 genesis on television.
Amidst swarms of little people brandishing soft toy Scoobies, twinkling light sticks and over-priced programmes were plenty of parents looking more than happy to be along for the ride.
The characters were instantly visually reminiscent of their cartoon counterparts, from geeky Velma (Louise Wright) through make-up mad Daphne (Julia Cave), fussy Fred (Josh Little) and shambling Shaggy (Danny Stokes). Full marks to the latter for nailing Shaggy’s tricky voice and to Eddie Arnold beneath the dog mask and fur for the same reason.
The Mystery Inc. gang find themselves in Egypt on the trail of a Pharaoh’s treasure in the company of a somewhat suspicious German bloke with a dodgy accent.
In time-honoured fashion those pesky, meddling kids find themselves confronting mysterious mummies who combine spooky looks with killer song and dance routines. Comedy chases, the eternal search for Scooby Snacks and cheesy gags are the familiar touchstones for a well-versed, generation-spanning audience.
While a couple of the songs perhaps outstay their welcome, you can always be sure there’s a decent routine just around the corner. Crucially, the core duo of Scooby and Shaggy are believable as it gets for two grown men playing what in most people’s minds remain cartoon characters.
Tip to parents: an upbeat introduction of pop tunes your young pups are likely to know and love provide a guaranteed ice-breaker ahead of the main event. Perhaps needless to say, there’s also a generous mid-show ice cream and merchandising break too.
It’s a show that ticks all of the boxes in an "if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it" sort of a way.
Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Of The Pyramid finishes its run at Eden Court on Wednesday (August 6) with performances at 2.30pm and 6.30pm.