Society: London (professional shows)
Venue: Lyric Theatre. 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 7ES
Credits: Written by Chris and Xand van Tulleken. Directed by Peter Adams. Presented by Andrew Kay and Margot Teele for Andrew Kay & Associates.
Performance Date: 05/12/2021
Operation Ouch! Live on Stage – Not for the Squeamish
They’re back and playing to an even more packed theatre than The Apollo Theatre enjoyed pre-lockdown. I know as I was there on that occasion too.
It’s little wonder this new show has proved so popular, for several reasons:
- Operation Ouch! is one of CBBC’s most popular shows.
- Children don’t understand or care about social distancing, Covid etc. so coming to the live show is no big deal.
- Children love talking and laughing about poo.
- Twin brothers, and Doctors Xand and Chris know exactly how to engage with their young audiences.
- The 70-minute show features multiple Gross Alerts!
Mix that lot together and you’ve filled the stalls and all three circles. It didn’t even matter that at the press performance the stage appeared to lose its power supply just when it needed it – meaning the two doctors had to improvise until the electricity supply returned and their endoscope was ready to display the inner workings of the bearded Doctor Xand, live.
And live it certainly was. Dressed in blue (Doctor Chris who tries to take the more serious approach) and green (Doctor Xand who tends to mess about whenever the chance arises) scrubs, the identical twin brothers have obviously decided to throw caution to the wind and ignore any potential embarrassment to the point where each of the doctors displayed a photo of the other enjoying some potty time as a toddler. The subject of the new show is the quest for the golden poo – and you can guess what such a challenge might entail… explaining what poo is and how it forms in the body. What’s not to like!
At one point Doctor Chris is even tricked into drinking from flask 1 or flask 2. One contains stew, the other diarrhoea. See the photo below for which one he chose. Operation Ouch! on CBBC features ‘Gross Alerts’ whenever most people may wish to look away. Of course, these notifications simply make an children move even closer to the screen. Well the same applies in the live show; you just need to substitute ‘closer to the screen’ with ‘closer to the edge of their seats’. All while any brave adults, still looking, screw their faces up in disgust.
But the show isn’t without its educational side. To that end, both children and adults alike came out knowing more that they did upon arrival to Shaftesbury Avenue’s Lyric Theatre, especially how the different areas of the brain work.
It’s hilarious, it’s gross, it’s brilliant. Apart from the impromptu power-cut it’s almost perfect. To be eight again! Mini Sardines loved it which is always a good sign. Another good sign is how quickly the time flew by. Seventy minutes appeared to pass in the blink of an eye.