Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – runs until 3 August 2019
Reviewed by Sophie Dodworth
Take a trip down to Avenue Q at Sheffield Theatres this week and meet the fantastically talented cast of a modern, hilarious and extremely well-written production. This show has hit many a stage, including Broadway and the West End for the last 17 years. It has its dedicated fans who arrive knowing what to expect and then the newbies…newbies beware! this show is not for the prudish.
Avenue Q is Robert Lopez and co-creator Jeff Marx’s coming-of-age parable; a lyrical satire on life’s anxieties and disappointments. The residents of Avenue Q are a mixture of puppets and humans. The musical is told in the manner of an adults version of the children’s tv show, Sesame Street, all the characters are colourful! The puppets certainly have gained an adult rating for this show, there is a liberal use of profanity and there is a sex scene involving naked puppets and an entire number about the event to run alongside it.
Each one of the cast displays wonderful vocals and together they produce some sweet harmonies. Lawrence Smith has a well-suited, well-trained, musical theatre sound to his voice, meeting the great needs of playing two parts, Princeton and Rod. Jasmine Beel who took the lead as understudy in this particular performance, playing Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut really shone. Beel has a tough job playing these two characters (often back to back) but smashed it, fresh out of training too with this being her professional debut.
Vocal star must surely go to Tom Steedon with his stupendous range taking on three characters, Nicky, Trekkie Monster and Bad Idea Bear. He delivers perfection in each of these roles, well done Tom! Great comedy role and stunning stage charisma from Saori Oda, playing the heavily accented Christmas Eve, she had the audience laughing with almost every line.
Musical numbers aplenty in each half, the majority with strong comedic value. Real stand-out songs included If You Were Gay, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, the hilarious The Internet Is For Porn and the beautiful solo sang by Kate Monster, There’s A Fine, Fine Line.
The thing that Avenue Q does really well is focus on some of the biggest issues in society today and make light of them, maybe in a way that they would be portrayed on a children’s TV show, like Sesame Street, allowing us to laugh and then reflect on them.
This show is and always has been an essential part of an enthusiastic, comedy musical fans repertoire. This tour does not disappoint and delivers everything you could ask for. If you are looking for talent, entertainment and giggles then you will find it down on Avenue Q.