Monday, July 6

Avenue Q

- June 5, 2019

Fourth time of seeing this amazing show and it never fails to fill my heart with joy. From the very start there is a deliciously irreverent sense of mischief about the thing, from the profanities uttered by fluffy puppets and Sesame Street style animations to the wicked representation of one time child star Gary Coleman as a down at heel janitor. All this bundled into a few hours of satirical song, dance and drama that pokes holes into our smug world of political correctness.

But all this would be as nothing if it were not for a fine cast who lift the term triple threat to quadruple by adding puppetry to that list of talents. Each and every one of this company is charged with bringing to life the strange characters, some of them with more than one. Lawrence Smith beautifully realises the innocent Princeton and closeted Rod and each with clarity and tone in those characterisations. Tom Steedman’s portrayals are hysterically funny from the porn obsessed Trekkie Monster through bad flatmate Nicky to the wicked Bad Idea Bears and what a wonderful vocal range this man has. Cecily Redman is equally versatile in her roles as Kate Monster, charmingly naive then lascivious as Lucy The Slut and she too has a soaringly great voice.

Nicholas McLean has all the bouncy verve of a child star fallen on bad times and Oliver Stanley is great as blustering Brian again displaying fine vocal talents. As for Saori Oda as Christmas Eve, well what is not to love about this diminutive “oriental” creature with the fabulous voice, one only wishes that you could hear her sing without the character voice, but then would it be half as funny? I think not!

The stage is beautifully lit, the set works and the entire company and band are absolutely on their game in delivering this timeless show that will live on and one.

Theatre Royal Brighton

4 June

Andrew Kay

Rating: ★★★★★

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