‘Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you?' went the theme tune I remember from the cartoon during my childhood in the 70s and 80s...and here I am, thirty years later, taking my three year old daughter to see Jim Millan's stage production of Scooby-Doo and the Pirate Ghost at the Bristol Hippodrome. Where did the time go?
Sadly the tune I remember doesn't feature in the production. Nevertheless, the cartoon colour and energy of Scooby-Doo does! My daughter and I were enthralled by a live Scooby-Doo who barks out ‘Scooby snacks' and ‘Shwaggy!'
Matthew Bloxham's Shaggy steals the show. He wears the trade-mark puzzled frown as the plot unfolds and throws himself literally into his physical interaction with Scooby. An audience of babies, children, mums, dads, grans and granddads roared with laughter as Scooby and Shaggy took turns leaping into each other's arms when the Pirate Ghosts walked on stage.
The on-stage chemistry between Bloxham and Jamie Brown as Scooby-Doo was perfect. We laughed at them dressed as air stewards eating the contents of the hostess trolley during a flight to visit Thelma's old school friend. Scooby's comic tail was poking through his steward's outfit and swiping things left, right and centre. A man dressed in a dog costume dressed as an air steward did not fool my daughter, who squealed with delight, "Mummy, it is a real dog!"
The plot did become a little confusing as the show progressed, even for us adults - but that really didn't matter. We continued to laugh as Thelma, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy and Scooby careered about the stage, hiding from Pirate Ghosts and launching coconuts at them.
Finally, in true Scooby-Doo style, the Scooby gang pulled the masks from the ghost pirates' faces to reveal...well, I won't spoil it for you. But it's safe to say that they would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling kids!
Click here for more details about Scooby Doo at The Bristol Hippodrome