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Avenue Q, New Wimbledon Theatre – Review

The residents of Avenue Q are a somewhat peculiar pick ‘n’ mix of colourful puppets, unlikely couples and a monster or two, all sharing in dreams, concerns and uncensored humour. It’s children’s programme styling -denoted by chirpy repetitive tunes, bright colours and teaching video-esque animation screens- paired with it’s very adult content, made for an atmosphere of juxtaposition in which the very upfront nature of this shows comedy absolutely thrived. Avenue Q is able to effortlessly weave the hysterically obscene with the genuinely touching and highly relatable moments to such a high standard. Personally, I found the craftmanship of…

Summary

Rating

Unmissable!

Avenue Q is one of those musicals I’ve heard about from friends and fellow theatregoers but somehow never got round to ever seeing. But after an evening of ridiculous and rambunctious entertainment, I'm sure glad I did.

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The residents of Avenue Q are a somewhat peculiar pick ‘n’ mix of colourful puppets, unlikely couples and a monster or two, all sharing in dreams, concerns and uncensored humour. It’s children’s programme styling -denoted by chirpy repetitive tunes, bright colours and teaching video-esque animation screens- paired with it’s very adult content, made for an atmosphere of juxtaposition in which the very upfront nature of this shows comedy absolutely thrived. Avenue Q is able to effortlessly weave the hysterically obscene with the genuinely touching and highly relatable moments to such a high standard.

Personally, I found the craftmanship of this show to be incredible. The set had a 2D feel to it using a flat street as the main backdrop with vertical levels giving texture and space to this cartoonish design. The lighting was crisp and fun using LED borders on the windows in transitions to silhouette Avenue Q and add a dash of showbiz to some of the upbeat musical numbers. Undoubtedly, the most remarkable aspect of the whole show has to be the puppeteers. The dual performance of puppet and actor as an extension of one another really sold the spirit of the characters and it was then easy to see the puppets as a living entity rather than a bit of felt on the end of someone’s arm. The puppeteers in the show were not only creating life from material but also were fantastically skilled actors and singers in their own right. It was magical to watch.

All the rules are thrown out of the window for this spectacular musical with puppet sex scenes, heightened racial stereotypes and onstage unmasked puppeteer switches. This show doesn’t takes itself too seriously and has really nailed it’s comedic delivery which audiences respond to with genuine fits of laughter. This marvellous monster musical had me roaring with laughter start to finish and I would highly recommend this to those with a more primal sense of wit and a dirty sense of humour.

Book by: Jeff Whitty
Music and lyrics by: Robert Lopez and Jeff Mark
Directed and choreographed by:
Cressida Carre
Musical Direction from:
Dean McDermott
Booking Link: http://avenuequk.com/tour-dates
Booking until: Various UK tour dates until 10th August 2019

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