Mayflower Theatre Southampton – until Saturday 31 August 2019
Reviewed by Leanne Caplis
Selladoor Productions and Showtime Theatre Productions in association with Richard Darbourne Limited and ABG Productions bring the UK tour of Avenue Q to The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton where it runs until Saturday 31st August 2019.
Co-creators Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez have worked their magic to bring their naughty puppets to life in order to entertain audiences with what can only be likened to an adult Sesame Street.
Be prepared for lots of adult humour as Princeton (Lawrence Smith) moves to Avenue Q and lives amongst neighbours including Kate Monster (Cecily Redman), Rod, Trekkie Monster (Tom Steedon) and the three humans Brian, Christmas Eve and Gary (Oliver Stanley, Saori Oda and Nicholas McLean).
Will Princeton find love with Kate Monster or will Lucy the Slut get in the way? Will Kate’s dream of a Monster School become reality and is the internet only good for porn? All will be revealed over the 2hr 10 min production.
Albeit a short delay to the show the fun packed action of the first half soon made you forget about it. The clever use of lyrics made the songs entertaining and the cast all have very good voices. The staging is very basic and there were not many scene changes; that said the cast made good use of what was available and credit to the production team for that.
Initially the puppeteers are my main focus but very soon I forgot about them and the puppets really do come alive. This is helped by the fact the puppeteers also act out their parts making them become one with their puppet.
It is hard to choose a star for this show as all cast members look to be having an amazing time on stage and all have equal parts to play. Lawrence, Cecily and Tom do deserve their own mention though as they control more than one puppet and switch between their parts flawlessly.
This show is definitely not one for those easily offended as there are songs about racism, sexual orientation and porn. However these songs are all light hearted and bring lots of laughs from the audience. A hard core muppet sex scene performed to the song You can be as loud as the hell you want (when you’re makin’ love) will stick in my mind forever!
There was the odd moment where I couldn’t quite catch what Christmas Eve was saying but I know this was an exaggerated Japanese accent intended for the show. It was hard for me to find any other negatives about this show and the audiences positive reaction echoed my own opinion.
There is a reason this show has been so successful in London and on tour and I would highly recommend it for any adult who has a sense of humour and is not easily offended