Review: Meddlin' Kids at Gilded Balloon Teviot

Those pesky, meddlin’ kids and that infamous dog have been ‘solving’ mysteries for decades in the hit kids’ TV show… Meddlin’ Kids. But now, after 25 seasons, it’s game over for the gang, as the network unexpectedly calls time on the franchise. But something’s just not right… Queue the gang’s first real-life, offscreen mystery, and an hour-long journey of profound self-discovery and interpersonal development… with ghouls!

An important feature of this show is its genuine catering for the wide age range of its intended audience. The show slides between high-brow humour for the adults (both young and older), to more slapstick, physical humour for the kids. What’s more, much of the writing appeals to all ages simultaneously, but to different ages for different reasons, signifying a highly thoughtful, layered writing process.

Creative parodying of the show’s muse, Scooby Doo, is one area where this multipurpose humour manifests clearly. To take one example, Humpy, on many occasions, provides a cutting analysis of the situation, which is always met with an awkward silence, so he just resorts to Shaggy’s ‘zoinks!’ line, met with laughter all-round. This joke escalates throughout, to the point where Humpy reminisces about a period in the 1980s where he tried his hand at some ‘subversive political comedy’, only to be met by an audience heckling and demanding he just says ‘zoinks!’.

There were a couple of moments where the performance could have been a little tighter, including the delivery of some lines and certain elements of production. Having said that, the core characterisations are spot on, whilst the extra characters are cleverly written, and often performed with real flair. This show is a highly comprehensive, creative parody, written and performed in a way that makes it enjoyable for the whole family.

Meddlin’ Kids, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 31 Jul – 26 Aug, (not 13), 11.15am

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