Her Majesty’s Theatre
Until 05 Jan 2018

Review by John Wells

There are many things I don’t understand: anything above Grade Four maths, manscaping, kale, and why anyone would listen to Mariah Carey. And kids’ television. I have watched what feels like a lifetime of raucous, inane and eye-numbing tv with children. Invariably, the kiddies cried out for the most mundane, tuneless, ill-conceived and cringingly lurid shows – equal parts tinnitus and fluoro vomit. I simply shook my head and pressed play. Again. Squeals of delight…

And I think that’s the real point: good children’s tv should be inaccessible to any intellectually functioning adult. Good children’s tv speaks in kids’ code, with all the mysteries and delights that only kids can understand.

“Operation Ouch” gets this. It is silly, funny and doesn’t drift into medical science too much. This is a live show of the popular British television program. Fronted by a set of winsome twin medicos in scrubs, Dr Xand and Dr Chris, there are poo jokes, a cow’s heart, blood, maggots and a gentle swipe at anti-vaxxers. The live action is augmented by pre-recorded bits.

There is plenty of pantomime-style presentation and light-hearted buffoonery. Dr Chris is the more serious character, and the sibling rivalry between him and the more anarchic Dr Xand is nicely handled. They are confident, well-drilled and at ease. My companions (10 years and 12 years) giggled throughout and loved (in order) the poo machine, the stories of the twins’ childhood, and the maggots. Naturally.