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LIVE ON STAGE
TV’s favourite doctors return to Australia these summer school holidays with a brand new show. Following two sell-out Australian tours, and a smash hit season in London’s West End, Dr Chris and Dr Xand are back in Australia. This brilliant show is packed with all-new crazy experiments and more amazing medical facts. The doctors explore the fascinating world of biology and show you the incredible things your body can do! Plus, they’ll share their favourite bits from the award-winning TV show.
AUSTRALIAN TOUR JANUARY 2020
AUSTRALIAN TOUR ON SALE IN SEPTEMBER
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Dr Chris and Dr Xand are coming to:
Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken; Doctors, Identical Twins, TV Presenters
Dr Chris and Dr Xand van Tulleken grew up in London and trained in medicine at Oxford University, graduating in 2002.
They have combined work in the UK’s National Health Service with global health work and television; appearing in Blizzard: Race to the Pole, Medicine Men and Medicine Men Go Wild. Operation Ouch! has won two BAFTAs and is now in its fifth season.
“a clever show, entertaining, educational, surprisingly tender and a whole lot of fun!”
Reviewed by Katre, thespyinthestalls.com
9th December 2018
I have to say that I wasn’t looking forward to going to see this. My plan to take an eight year old fell through, so I was going to be sitting in a theatre full of screaming children for over an hour, like a strange adult island. However, I loved it! It’s a clever show, entertaining, educational, surprisingly tender and a whole lot of fun! I learned some things I didn’t know about the brain and the eye, and saw videos of things I never want to see again, like maggots on an open wound – which the kids all loved. There was earwax, a live close up of a larynx and some inflatable pig’s lungs. Not to mention giant bouncy viruses that filled the auditorium, and an exploding balloon.
Operation Ouch! is a TV show on CBBC, presented by twin brother doctors, Chris and Xand, and in this live show you can feel their love for each other. Chris is the straight man and Xand is the hapless one, who didn’t do well at school. Without being at all preachy, they used Xand’s old school reports, and his memories of being thought stupid and naughty, to let the kids know that finding a passion can be a great route to sorting your life out and moving on. The fact that Xand became a doctor is proof that it worked for him. There was also a beautiful piece, near the end of the show, about how to deal with anxiety, building on one of the earlier, hilarious, pieces about how the brain responds to threat.
There was just enough panto in it to be brilliantly funny, including a few ‘oh yes he did, oh no he didn’t’ moments, and a sing along near the end.
If you have child, go and see this. If you don’t have a chid, maybe borrow one. You’ll both have a great time!
“wonderfully informative and packed seventy-minute show”
Reviewed by Mr, Mrs & Mini Sardines sardinesmagazine.co.uk
10th December 2018
With Mini Sardines, aged five, now making the transition from CBeebies to CBBC, all kinds of new and older experiences for children are appearing on the horizon. In a break from the season’s regular panto frolics (his 4th season!), childrens' natural fascination in the human body (the more gross and revolting the better) has drawn us to Operation Ouch! Live on Stage, written by identical twins and real-life medical practitioners, Dr Chris and Dr Xand, and based on their CBBC programme of the same name.
In a wonderfully informative and packed seventy-minute show, the higly intelligent pair not only keep an auditorium full of youngsters enthralled, but arguably every accompanying adult too. And this is the show’s genius. I did say “In a break from… panto” but, similar to that genre, if you can entertain all generations and not just the younger ones then you’re onto a winner. Actually, at one point the pair even say to the audience, “It’s not panto! If you want that, go and see Dr Ranj in Jack and the Beanstalk!” (their BBC colleague, also a real doctor, was of course featured in the current series of Strictly.)
I’m not sure how the twins manage to include so much interesting information in such a short space of time but, in just over an hour, we are treated to stories, stunts, slapstick, experiments, demonstrations, facts, videos, jokes and audience participation. In the name of science, and openly presented at the expense of the brothers, whether it be inserting cameras into ears, up noses or down mouths (while shown live on a giant video screen), audiences are both entertained and informed in equal measure.
Dr Chris, dressed in blue scrubs, is the clean-shaven one and appears to represent the slightly safer, more rule-conscious half… while Dr Xand (Alexander), in green scrubs and sporting designer stubble, is happy to be the butt of most of the gags and experiments. This even includes the pair recounting a snapshot of their early years and especially Xand’s less than impressive school reports which are displayed on the video screen above the stage (“Must try harder…”, “Never concentrates…”, “Always absent…” etc.). The fact that this particular sequence (while talking about areas of the brain) is used to demonstrate how people are able to achieve anything, even when it’s so easy to be put off from even trying, is testament to the brothers’ sincerity.
The children in the audience, including our own Mini Sardines, were fascinated on the well-attended Sunday press performance at The Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue (usually Everybody’s Talking About Jamie). Then again, when they see you about to drink a flask of what looks like diarrhoea – or is it chocolate milkshake, flick a handful of slimy snot at the audience, see you inflate a real pair of pigs’ lungs, examine a real-life eardrum, or fill the fervent auditorium with giant balloons as you demonstrate how quickly diseases can spread… then what’s not to like!
By the way, the maximum five-star review is earned largely because, on top of everything else, Mini Sardines will be talking about parts of this show for weeks to come.
“Operation Ouch Live is simply amazing”
Reviewed by Leeds Dad leedsdad.com
9th December 2018
Heidi is a huge Operation Ouch fan and once the tickets to Operation Ouch Live were available, I made plans to go down to see the show. When I say “huge”, perhaps I mean obsessive. After all, we have 50 recordings saved on the TV! As a result, it was an opportunity not to miss, and it was more special than I could have imagined.
Operation Ouch Live is based on the TV show and you need to have seen a couple of TV shows to get the most of the stage show. However, the stage show stands on its own two feet.
The show lasts 70 minutes, and make sure you get into the theatre 10 minutes before as they play a clip from the TV show, which was a nice touch.
There are bits of goriness involved, but it is all educational. For example, they use a probe to see into Xand’s ear to see his ear drums, as well as inflate a set of animal lungs so you can see how they work in practice. However, it is tastefully done and won’t put anyone off.
Also, the Operation Ouch Live show tells you a little about the Doctors themselves, which was an amazing little touch, especially for a mega-fan like Heidi.
Operation Ouch Live is at the Apollo Theatre. This is on Shaftesbury Avenue about 2 minutes from Piccadilly Circus underground station. For those who know London a little bit, it is near the Rainforest Cafe. Whilst the venue holds 775 people, it is quite compact and so you’re not too far away from the stage. The leg room is decent, and the seats are comfortable enough for the 70 minute show!
Just make sure you look up, to see the fabulous ceiling…
They do sell merchandise before the show as well in the foyer, some of which Heidi is modelling after winning a Facebook prize!
As you can imagine, the Operation Ouch Live show is full of laughs and silliness. After all, it is aimed for children aged 5-12! There are daft songs, silly jokes and good old panto humour.
However, the best part is where they showed how a virus spreads quickly between people. This is done by throwing massive wobble balls into the audience and getting them to throw them around. This proved hilarious for the children, but also very educational. They could see how a virus spreads, but also the importance of stopping viruses at source.
Whilst Operation Ouch Live is definitely a show to entertain, it is also there to teach. There are scientific terms thrown in at semi-regular intervals, but it is age appropriate and done in a manner for children to learn. The skit with the frontal lobe and amygdale is a prime example of this. Heidi, aged 5, was absolutely fine with the learning part of things, but younger children may struggle.
However, from a parent’s point of view, there is a monologue by Xand which was powerful and poignant. Xand referenced his struggles as a child and gave some well directed life advice to those children who need something a little different in school and life. By this point in the show, the children were like sponges, taking everything in and I am sure that it will help so many. For me as a parent, it was the highlight of the show.
Chris and Xand are excellent on stage and whilst their background is medicine, their on stage performance was very polished. However, after meeting them after the show and an unexpected Twitter message or two, they are genuinely nice people.
Part of doing this blog was to write about the “good guys” in life and have a positive influence on Heidi’s life. Chris and Xand certainly fit into that category. The way they spoke and interacted to Heidi after the show melted my heart and made the trip down worth it. Heidi was over the moon meeting them, especially knowing that her heroes are just as nice in person as they are on TV.
Operation Ouch Live is simply amazing. I can’t put it any more simply as that!
As the show was ending, Heidi started crying saying that she wanted to come back to see the show again. For me, that is the sign of an amazing show and you cannot fake that reaction. (At this point, she didn’t know about my plan for her to meet them!)
Splendid mix of astonishing and appalling
Peter Burdon, The Advertiser
January 4, 2018 7:01pm
WITH tiny fans on either side (fairy dress, Dr Chris; pink tutu, Dr Xand), your writer was well placed to gauge the response to the antics of the sensationally popular doctors whose inquiries and experiments have become the stuff of TV legend.
The first measurement was of my neighbours’ contributions to cataclysm that greeted the dynamic duo’s arrival on stage. And you thought ear plugs were only for rock concerts.
Operation Ouch! is a children’s educational phenomenon that sweeps all before it, introducing children (and their parents, let’s be honest) to the wonderful mystery that is the human body. Twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand delve in cunningly disguised depth into its inner workings. The most delicious of these, from the kids’ point of view, revolve around poo, wee, ear wax and other excretions, but these engage in a trice, and so the kids are on the edge of their seats (when they’re not standing on them), eager to lap up the learning.
They simply, yet ingeniously, illustrate how the brain interacts with the nervous system to prepare the body for action (“fight or flight”) and to help maintain its long-term health (“rest and digest”).
The audio visual support for the show is stunning, with a virtual reality heart beating on Dr Xand’s body a special highlight, and the hands-on experiments and illustrations are a splendid mix of astonishing and appalling, just what every kid wants. My fans confirmed it.
"Squeals of delight…"
Review by John Wells
Adelaide Theatre Guide
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.
"informative, funny and entertaining"
I finally now know which of the charming Operation Ouch twins is Dr Chris and which one is Dr Xand. In fact, it’s embarrassingly obvious. Dr Chris is rather more sensible and admits to being ”less smiley” while Dr Xand has a beard, wears green scrubs and is always smiling and doing “silly” things. These two doctors are anything but silly. They are, however, happy to provide a good level of entertainment, or as we like to call it in our family, “medutainment” all for the sake of educating youngsters (and quietly… parents) about all things medical.
The identical twin brothers hail from the extremely popular British program, Operation Ouch, a program for kids which shows things like how far a projectile vomit can reach, what happens when you break your arm and why do squinty eyes occur. Dr Chris and Dr Xand are extremely knowledgeable and do a great job answering all sorts of tricky questions that kids tend to ponder like ”how does earwax form?” and “why do your ears pop on a plane?”.
In fact, Dr Chris and Dr Xand do such a good job of explaining medical things in simple and interesting ways using great props that the show should, in fact, be compulsory viewing for all wannabe doctors and nurses. They even brought a real cows heart onstage which Dr Xand had “pre-plumbed” so that he could demonstrate the mechanics of the heart.
Don’t worry, there was also enough fun stuff to make the audience giggle and recoil in horror. We also enjoyed a few short clips from their show detailing Dr Xand’s obsession with wearing capes and eating food plus clips featuring vomit and poo, maggots eating flesh etc.
All-in-all, this was a great show which was informative, funny and entertaining. Dr Chris and Dr Xand are delightful and it was great to gain a little insight into Dr Chris and Dr Xand’s childhood and to know that they are big kids at heart – Dr Xand still travels with his treasured teddy bear, Mr Grumbles, while Dr Chris is about to pass on his beloved yellow cow toy to his new baby daughter. We highly recommend this show for all Operation Ouch fans.
"what a great show it was"
Review by EricaL
Identical twins Dr Chris and Dr Xand performed live on stage at The Plenary in Melbourne yesterday as pat of their Operation Ouch! Live Australian Summer Tour and what a great show it was!
We were introduced to so many fascinating things about the human body, including but not limited to; ears, hearts, brains and eyes!
They showed us how our body reacts to certain things and how you can overcome pain whilst having a needle - just smile and think positive.
They told us how important it is to be vaccinated and let us join in the fun of spreading a disease by throwing massive balls into the audience. As the balls were passed around and returned to the two Drs, the duo then joked how everyone who touched the balls were infected! The TV stars then asked us to sit on our hands and threw the balls out into the audience again .. this time no one touched them. The point of this experiment was to explain that if people were not immunised, diseases would spread very quickly.
We got to take a glance into Dr Xand’s eye whilst Dr Chris performed experiments with light to see how the pupil dilates.
The twins rolled out cows heart onto the stage and pumped artificial blood into it to show us the heart is the only organ that will still work if it is removed from the body.
This fascinating show was educational and funny, proving to be a big hit for our children and I'm sure any science loving child will enjoy the the stars of hit ABC Me children’s television series Operation Ouch! perform live too.
We hope to see Dr Chris and Dr Xand return to the Australian stage in 2019. Did you see Operation Ouch! Live On Stage at The Plenary too?
"highly entertaining and informative"
Jan 6 2018
Science-loving kids will highly enjoy this new show about the incredible human body, Operation Ouch!, based on the hit ABC Me series.
Twin doctors, Dr Chris and Dr Xand, have brought their incredible medical stunts and crazier experiments to Sydney in a kid-friendly live show.
Operation Ouch The 75 minute show is packed with fascinating facts about the body, such as our ears, eyes, digestive system and brain. It’s education at it best – highly entertaining and informative all at once.
We went into the show with no knowledge of the TV program. While I do think it’s beneficial to watch the TV show first so you have a connection to the doctors and know what to expect, it’s not crucial to enjoying the performance.
Dr Chris and Dr Xand are extremely personable as well as smart, and it was really interesting hearing their stories about growing up, not being so good at school, and how and why they became doctors. I thought it was great for kids to hear from successful people how they overcame adversity to become professionals in a demanding field.
I also thought it was great for kids to see science presented from a kid-friendly angle but not dumbed down in any way. All the proper medical terms were used for each part of the body, and the experiments were equally interesting for adults as they were for the kids.
My favourite part of the show involved the doctors explaining how germs spread and the importance of vaccinations in an interactive and easy-to-understand way. We’ve been trying to explain this for a while to the 6-year-old, but it’s a lot of concepts that aren’t easy to visualise, so big props to Dr Chris and Xand for making the topic accessable.
Operation Ouch! is entertaining for the whole family – including the adults. The husband and I found it highly enjoyable to watch and both learnt a few things along the way, too!