Scooby Doo and his gang have been around since 1969, but as this production proves, the dog has not has had his day yet, as the franchise is as popular with children today as it was 45 years ago.
In this touring show, we have all our favourite protagonists; all American boy Fred Jones, girly Daphne Blake, brainiac Velma Dinkley, ever hungry Norville 'Shaggy' Rodgers and, of course, the hero of the hour, talking Great Dane Scooby Doo.
Mystery Inc have been called to Egypt by Otto, a friend of Velma, as he needs their help in solving the mystery of the pyramid. But as ever they are surrounded by eerie enemies, who, as in any episode of of the hit cartoon series and movies, they are not what they seem.
This is not an evening of highbrow entertainment; it is designed to appeal to small children and given the audience reaction, it certainly hits its mark with lively precision. The songs are catchy and simple, with many involving a level of audience participation.
Danny Stokes is a well realised Shaggy, and he maintains an excellent impersonation of Casey Kasem throughout. The rest of the Scooby Gang, Louise Wright (Velma), Julia Cave (Daphne) and Josh Little (Fred), do well recreating their characters, which are a close homage to the cartoon originals. However, Eddie Arnold as the eponymous Scooby is excellent at making his character come alive in all the right ways, from voice to movement, he is a solid likeness of the beloved dog.
Four other actors, Douglas Walker, Stuart Vincent, Eleanor O'Grady and Philip Quigley, take on all the supporting characters, all of whom are typical of a Scooby Doo episode.
Very often children's favourite TV shows do not translate well to the stage, but clever writing and good production values make this show one of the few exceptions. So get ready to shout "Scooby Dooby Doo" all over again, as there's still more life in this old dog yet.
Scooby Doo! The Mystery Of The Pyramid is at the Lowry until 13 April and is touring the UK. Further dates are here.
- Helen Jones