In a nutshell: Sesame Street, for grown ups
Popcorn rating: 4/5
Imagine an adult version of Sesame Street and you’ll have a pretty good idea what to expect from Avenue Q the musical. Sex, internet pornography, casual racism, questionable sexuality…nothing is off limits to this motley crew living in an American suburb.
It is almost a guilty pleasure to watch these muppet-inspired characters so familiar from your childhood act and sing with a wicked twist. Political correctness is certainly off the table but the story, which is really about friendship, is executed with such warmth and charm it is almost impossible to be offended.
Some of the funniest moments are the uncomfortable truths that form the basis of countless songs. It was hard not to grin with a guilty smile when the puppets were singing about the satisfaction found at the misfortune of others and that ‘the more you love someone, the more you want to kill them’.
As funny as it is heart warming, Avenue Q tells Princeton’s tale.
He is the newest resident on the block trying to find his purpose and struggling to make his relationship work with Kate Monster. Along the way, he has to resist the temptations offered by the ‘bad idea bears’ and learn a lesson from ‘Lucy the Slut’.
The show has already had massive success in London’s West End and nothing has been lost in the transition to the Lowry in Salford. Credit goes to the pupeteers who carry the characters around but add such life to the puppets that it is easy to suspend your disbelief. Avenue Q is nothing short of excellent.
Reviewer: David Morgan