FOR fans of Scooby Doo, Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is the place to go this summer.

Scooby Doo: The Mystery of the Pyramid is as close to the real thing as you’re likely to get this side of the 1970s, and if it doesn’t leave you with a smile on your face and a whiff of scooby snacks in your nostrils then you can’t have been a genuine Scoobert in the first place.

The production veers away from the cult cartoon in only two ways, by punctuating the performance with songs and making Shaggy into the lanky, elastic-limbed lead character.

But jinkies, both changes work!

Although some of the singing is more frightening than the mummys that jangle across the stage, the tunes are familiar. Only the words have been changed to protect the innocent and it doesn’t take long before the audience – both young and young at heart – are clapping along and bouncing on their seats.

And as for Shaggy taking centre stage, well, he is superb. The high-pitched, creaking-door voice is spot on and he even walks and contorts like the famous junk-food junkie we know and love..although it’s unlikely the original pizza-feaster could breakdance quite as well as his modern twin.

The rest of the gang are good too, although slightly bit-party, and from where I was sitting Fred never quite escaped his eerie likeness to England goalkeeper Joe Hart.

If you can overcome that mystery though, then you’re in for an hour and a half of Scooby Doo as it should be; fun, surreal, light-hearted and silly.

It’s a winning formula that has lasted the ages and this production doesn’t try to change it. The plot is the same as all the plots, the monsters are the same as all the monsters and while it’s not possible to re-enact the trademark cartoon chase, the cast don’t do a bad job in a madcap five minutes that veers from pantomime to Chariots of Fire and back again.

The catchphrases are all there too, so if you meddling kids have a few hours then drag your parents along. Scooby Don’t? Scooby Doo old buddy, old pal, old friend!