What better way could there be to beat a dreary Tuesday evening than taking a trip down Avenue Q?
The hilarious Tony Award-winning musical has arrived at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this week, where its loveable, mischievous and devilishly naughty characters are all on a mission to spread a little filthy comedy into your lives.
I’ve waited five years to see this show, and took my seat not knowing quite what to expect, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. This show is laugh-out-loud funny, so much so that on multiple occasions I found myself doubled over in my seat with tears pooling down my face.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that because Avenue Q has puppets, that it makes it ok for younger audience members to go and watch it for a family outing – the age warning is in place for a comical reason, folks.
Avenue Q has been a smash hit in both the West End and Broadway, where it has earned countless praise from critics across the globe for not just its exceptionally hilarious and offensive songs, but for its clever approach to tackling adult issues like loneliness while championing its cast with a skilful display of puppeteering teamed with a pool of talented actors.
For those unfamiliar of the story of Avenue Q, it follows the life of Princeton, who has just graduated from college with a pointless degree in English and moves to bright lights of New York in the hopes it will help him find his purpose.
Upon his arrival, he meets his new neighbours: teaching assistant Kate Monster, Brian, Christmas Eve, the porn-obsessed Trekkie, Nicky, Rod and actor Gary Coleman (what you talkin’ about, Wills?) who all help him get his feet on the ground and pursue his purpose – whatever that may be.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a production that’s seen such uncontrollable laughter erupt from an audience. Avenue Q is far from polite, but if you’re willing to leave your morals and judgements at the door, then you’re in for a seriously enjoyable evening, and I’d challenge anyone to sit through the entire show without at least cracking a smile.
The puppetry is so effortless and that’s solely down to the incredibly talented cast and crafted choreography that allows even the smallest changes to be hardly noticeable. At some points, the cast are playing more than one character, but it’s carried out in such a sleek and discrete way that some may not even notice that it’s happening.
Avenue Q’s cast deserves endless praise for their performance. The level of professionalism that requires them to keep it together when the puppets are either accusing members of the audience for watching porn or even demanding money to fund Kate’s School for Monsters, is something that should be highly applauded.
Both Lawrence Smith and Cecily Redman give outstanding performances in their leading roles of Princeton and Kate Monster, while seamlessly transitioning between their secondary roles of Rod and Lucy the Slut. I can’t hand out enough praise to both Tom Steedon and Megan Armstrong, who had me crying with laughter as Trekkie Monster and the utterly comedic and cheeky Bad Idea Bears.If like me, you’ve been waiting and waiting to see Avenue Q then I cannot encourage you enough to head out and get a ticket. Personally, I wish I had seen it soon, but I can certainly say that I won’t be missing it next time around. If a touch of deliciously devilish comedy is what you’re after, then look no further, Avenue Q is ready and waiting to welcome you.
Avenue Q runs at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until Saturday, June 15. Click here to book tickets.
*Disclaimer // I was invited to watch Avenue Q by Wolverhampton Grand Theatre. I did not pay for my tickets, but was asked to write a review in exchange. All views are my own.