10-15 August 2015
Reviewed by Rachael Scott
My partner and I went to watch Avenue Q at the Bournemouth pavilion. On arrival at the elegant Pavilion Theatre we parked easily in the pay and display on site. We were greeted by very pleasant staff who directed us to the appropriate area to pick up the tickets and we were shown to our seats in a helpful manner. The theatre has retained its classic 1920’s style but still feels clean and fresh. As the theatre started to fill you could feel the anticipation and excitement grow.
Having never seen Avenue Q before we were unsure as to what to expect but had heard it is likened to Sesame Street meets South Park. What we found was a heart-warming story based around a college graduate (Princeton) starting out on his own and the harsh reality of adulthood. The introduction to the rest of the cast who all live on Avenue Q comes via a singing narrative of whose life sucks the most. We were taken through the trials and tribulations of making new friendships and romances with Princeton trying to find his ‘purpose’ in life. This pathway sang its way through politically incorrect subjects such as the internet being designed for porn, closeted gay best friends, monsters, racism, loud sex and Gary Coleman. It all culminates with an unsuspected helping hand from a sexually deviant monster.
The set was basic but effective with monsters and people popping out of doorways and windows at any opportunity. Undoubtedly every cast and crew member has a wide range of talents and although they are not your focus you connect with them as much as with the puppets. The vocals and puppetry brought the characters to life and the singing was pitch perfect. Each individual puppet had its own personality, accent and mannerisms.
We both thoroughly enjoyed the show and found ourselves at times laughing uncontrollably. Although not for the prudish or easily offended I would have no qualms in recommending this show to my friends of all appropriate ages. We came away chuckling to each other about the specifics of what we both found funny.
My one criticism would be the lack of staff at the bar during the interval.
Overall I would give the show and the theatre a rating of 4.5 out of 5. We thoroughly enjoyed it and could give it no greater praise than we would go back in an instant to watch it again and we will revisit the Pavilion for more evenings of entertainment.
Tickets cost from £16.50 to £39.78 (booking fees may apply).
Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre, Westover Road, Bournemouth, BH1 2BU | 0844 576 3000