Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne,
until Saturday 2nd November 2019
Avenue Q | Review
Being in a very privileged position that I see a lot of theatre, there are three shows that I return to again and again. Avenue Q is one of these shows. This week, my favourite puppets (along with a few actors) are performing in Eastbourne on the last but one leg of their tour so joyfully I trekked to the Devonshire Park Theatre to remind myself why I like these comical, often rude and hugely entertaining fuzzy monsters so much.
I grew up on the Muppets, and my daughter grew up on Sesame Street so maybe my initial love grew from nostalgia. But Avenue Q is so much more than humans and puppets living together in perfect harmony. These characters, like their TV counterparts, teach and discuss real issues in a light-hearted and entertaining way. However, the audience for this show is a completely different demographic as the subjects discussed are more risqué, pornography, racism and homophobia are not shied away from, and the steamy sex scene (between two puppets) means the show is certainly not for young children.
Directed by Cressida Carre the current cast bring a burst of energy to the Avenue. The actors playing both the human roles and ones bringing the puppets to life cleverly interact with one another making a world where humans and monsters living together seem perfectly natural. Having attended a workshop many years ago, I realise this is not as easy as it looks, and they are to be congratulated.
The songs written by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx are forever catchy and leave you humming happily on the way home – Kate Monsters’ ‘It’s a fine line’ has always been my favourite song from the show, this time brought to life by Cecily Redman. Other songs are less emotional with The Internet is for Porn, Schadenfreude and Everyone’s a little bit racist having the audience rolling in the aisles.
Although the production felt more tired than usual and not as snappy (probably due to being at the end of a very long tour) Avenue Q didn’t disappoint, once again it made me laugh out loud and really fall in love with the characters. In what other show do you fall for a big pervert monster addicted to porn? The characters are real with real problems and I am left wanting more, roll on the next tour or even consider a sequel! I would love to know what happens to Kate Monster and Princeton and our other fuzzy furry friends.
Reviewer: Sammi O’Neill
Avenue Q plays at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne until Saturday 2nd November, for tickets and information visit https://www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk/events/avenue-q-0
If readers are wondering what the other shows I will break any diary date to see are. One I have seen in excess of twenty times and although there is a concert version currently playing at xxxxxx I am so excited to see the new production opening at the Sondheim Theatre in December. The other is playing at the Theatre Royal Brighton over Christmas too so I am looking forward to a pretty marvellous Christmas time – bring it on!