21-26 March 2016
Reviewed by Katy Nettleton
What they say…
Avenue Q is an irresistibly charming musical which tells the story of the loveable characters on a downtown New York Street trying to make sense of life’s burning issues.
Hilarious, cheeky and uproariously entertaining, with a terrific batch of songs performed by a cast of hugely talented performers and puppets, Avenue Q is the musical life no other.
What I say…
If you are easily offended and don’t see the funny side in life this show is probably not for you!
The best way I can describe it is a “rude and funnier version of Sesame Street!” you will laugh from the moment you sit down to the moment it ends. The story highlights the challenges of “life” with no money, starting out, making friends, relationships and understanding your “purpose” and it is quite likely that in this humorous show you will relate to at least one of these challenges highlighted in a puppet show. Before the show I thought that the “puppeteers” would be hidden however they weren’t, they were on stage and reflected the body language of the puppets in an adhering way; you just saw the puppeteer and puppet as a whole and did not view them separately (I know this sounds a little weird but think once you have seen the show you will understand what I am getting at!). This was triumph and shows how a well-produced and quality production can defy “traditional” musicals who received accolades.
The puppets sang a variety of songs which challenged perceptions and also political correctness in a way in which I defy anyone in the audience to say they weren’t foot tapping along and laughing at the lyrics. I know political correctness is a huge issue and one we should be aware of but I found this show just “touched on the right side of caution;” isn’t that what often comedy is about? I wouldn’t suggest this show for under 18s due to its content and language.
I know Avenue Q has been around a long time, but my friend who I went with has seen it 3 times now and says that each time it is just as funny and a true quality production. Having seen Avenue Q on the Broadway New York she said this version was just as good if not better due to the puppeteers and their voices. I don’t think you can praise the songs, lyrics and vocals high enough. Kate Monster gave me goose bumps each time she sang, but as did all the others if I am being completely honest. The staging was brilliant and I thought truly resembled “down town dodgy streets” we have in each and every City!
I don’t want to go into too much detail with regards to the content and songs but I still have “Avenue Q” going through my head and when discussing the internet at work this morning I had to stifle a laugh. But isn’t this what a good show is about – one that stays with you for days/months to come. This is now my favourite musical and I will definitely go and see it again (hopefully with the same cast) and it will take a lot for this to be knocked off my top spot. I think it will be theatre tickets all round this year for birthdays so that my friends and family can go and experience comedy at its best.
What I loved about Avenue Q is that it opens up theatre to those who “do not traditionally go” and challenges people’s perceptions of theatre. Having discussed the show with my colleagues at work and being told “I’m not a theatre go-er” I have challenged them to go and see this and tell me that they aren’t interested in going to see different shows at the theatre. I personally think this for many would be a perfect taster of theatre at its best.
Overall I give this 5 out of 5 and cannot wait to go and see it again!
Tickets cost from £15.90 to £45.90 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Avenue Q is at the Regent Theatre in Stoke until 26 March 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7649
Regent Theatre, Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 1AP | 0844 871 7649