3-7 May 2016
Reviewed by Melanie Allen
Not knowing much about this modern day musical, I had no idea what to expect. My friends had said it definitely wasn’t a show for kids. All I knew was it was an American ‘adult muppet show’. What I didn’t realise was that it was going to be one of the most witty, thought provoking and risqué stage shows I have seen yet.
Avenue Q is where the story begins – the street where they all live. There are three types of characters in the show – Monster puppets, people puppets and humans. The cast controlling the puppets are amazingly talented, switching from one character voice to another in the same sentence. The way their bodies move in sync with their puppets is quite phenomenal, it’s like they are morphing into the puppet character.
Princeton (people puppet) played by Richard Lowe is a recent college graduate with no knowledge of the world who is looking for his purpose in life. Along the way, he meets some hilarious and heart-warming characters who change his outlook on life and make him realise how selfish he has been. Richard Lowe also plays banker Rod (people puppet) a closet homosexual who can’t face coming out to his friend Nicky (people puppet) played by Stephen Arden. Kate Monster (monster puppet) played by Sarah Harlington is an unlucky soul who just wants to be loved. The sex scene between her and Princeton is just funniest and most comical thing ever. Sarah Harlington excellently controls gold digger Lucy the Slut (people puppet) who is only out for what she can get. Trekkie Monster (monster puppet played by Stephen Arden)’s song ‘Internet is for Porn’ had the audience in stitches.
The humans in the show, newlyweds Christmas Eve (played by Arina II) and Brian (Richard Morse) and Gary Coleman (Etisyai Philip) all play a vital role in the story. Christmas Eve’s Japanese accent at times was difficult to understand, but was hilarious especially the song ‘The more you ruv someone’
The song titles throughout were just the best – ‘Everybody’s a little bit racist’ and ‘I’m not wearing underwear today’ gives you an idea of how much this show is like no other.
Avenue Q is a musical about friendships, relationships, sexuality and discovering yourself. It will have you howling with laughter, gasping with disbelief (‘can they really say that’?) and smiling knowing that you have felt exactly the same way at some point in your life.
Leave the kids at home and go and see this hugely entertaining rude show.
Tickets cost from £12.90 to £43.40 (plus £4 transaction fee).
Avenue Q is at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until 7 May 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3019.
Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT | 0844 871 3019