Review: Puppet Sex, Porn & lots of swearing – Avenue Q at the Palace

Essentially an adult version of Sesame Street, Avenue Q is full of heart (and some truly great songs)

As a kid I was never really ever into Sesame Street. I was more of a Turtles guy.

The whole Big Bird and Elmo thing passed me by, probably because it was too American for my mam and dad to even consider putting it on, and I got taught all that stuff at school anyway so I wouldn’t miss anything, right?

Well, no I don’t suppose I did. But there was the odd moment last night, sat watching Avenue Q where I thought perhaps watching a few episodes of Sesame Street may have enhanced the whole experience further.

Not that it was a bad experience. Not by a long shot. I absolutely loved the production – the tale of a newly graduated puppet called Princeton who moves to Avenue Q to find his ‘purpose’ and ends up making friends and loves along the way.

Once you initially get over the concept of having a human on stage with a puppet’s arse on the end of their arm, it’s plain sailing for the rest of the way, and the skill in which the actors create emotion and small nuances with what are essentially bags of fabric is shockingly impressive.

They manage to bring a significant amount of emotion and heart into the puppets, creating real-life characters live on stage before your very eyes. This is all helped along the way by a whip-sharp script and some truly memorable songs.

Winner of multiple Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, you should go into Avenue Q expecting a truly memorable musical experience and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.

With songs like ‘It Sucks To Be Me’, ‘Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist’ and ‘Schadenfreude’ – they’re not only catchy but they’re funny as hell, and by the time Gary Coleman (yes, from Diff’rent Strokes) is singing about taking pleasure out of other people’s misery – you’re tapping and giggling along with the rest of the audience.

The actors are truly impressive, not just with the singing but also the fact that they often play multiple roles on stage at the same time, while still operating the expressions and movement of puppets.

My personal favourite was Trekkie Monster, mostly because he reminded me most of a Sesame Street character but with a serious addiction to Internet porn.

This production is only on at the Palace Theatre for a week, so don’t dilly-dally about – get yourself a ticket and I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Avenue Q

Venue: Palace Theatre
Date: Monday 21st – Saturday 29th October
Cost: Tickets from £13

Buy Tickets

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