REVIEW: Avenue Q, The Hawth Theatre

Darren Bell SUS-140805-081359001
Darren Bell SUS-140805-081359001

Avenue Q may have some puppets talking about social issues - but Sesame Street this is not.

It has the cuteness and the puppets look very much like those of the favourite children’s show, but that is where the comparison ends.

Avenue Q is hugely entertaining and hilarious musical conceived by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx and is a coming-of-age parable, addressing and satirizing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood.

The story follows recent college graduate Princeton who moves to Avenue Q filled with hopes and dreams and in search of his purpose. What he finds is Gary Coleman fixing the toilets, girl-next-door Kate Monster and her unfulfilled dreams for a Monsterssori school, internet sexpert Trekkie Monster and closet gay Republican Rod.

Add in the Bad News Bears and you have a mixture of brilliantly written characters, jet black comedy (‘why don’t you hang yourself?’ say the Bad Idea Bears in the perkiest of voices when one of the characters is on a low ebb) and amazing songs.

What makes the show unique is that the human actors performing the puppets do not take a back seat. They are the characters as well - adding facial expressions, dancing and the human emotion for the poignant parts of the story.

The actors are impressive with Greg Airey (Nicky, Trekkie Monster and Bad Idea Bear), Tom Steedon (Princeton and Rod) and Lucie-Mae Sumner (Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut) swapping from one character voice to another in one conversation.

And the songs and music are sensational with highlights being the Internet is for Porn, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist and Schadenfreude.

After a hugely successful West End run, Avenue Q is now doing a national tour and The Hawth was lucky to have had it. It’s a must see.