Avenue Q

February 11, 2009 at 12:49 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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On Monday I went to my first performance of Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre in London’s West End. I’d heard rave reviews and by the end of the performance I was not disappointed.

We had good seats centrally located on row K (tickets purchased via Get into London Theatre) and could clearly see the screens that dropped down periodically throughout the performance.

While it took a few minutes to get into the musical and the unique nature of the puppet/actor-puppeteer performance by the time we reached “It sucks to be me” everything had fallen into place. The plot follows Princeton as he struggles to find his purpose in life and love with Kate Monster. However, at the climax of the first act he’s broken up with his love and fallen into despair at finding said purpose. This dramatic high-point provides an excellent bookend for the Act and its earlier comedic points.

After intermission we’re back with more comedic songs about love and life, as to be expected by the end of the musical resolutions abound for Princeton, Kate and all the other characters. I won’t spoil it!

All of the songs are funny, endearing and/or identifiable (from “What do you do with a B.A in English?” to “There is Life Outside of your Apartment” and “The Internet is for Porn”). The content of the lyrics and performance in general is adult themed (like “You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love)”) so if you think that may offend you then “Avenue Q” probably isn’t your type of musical.

My only complaint is that some of the lyrics weren’t that clear – although this was in the minority and I put it down to the audio system or my mp3 impaired hearing! 

The actors and puppets provide excellent performances with the puppets and handlers all having their own unique mannerisms. The actors are often having to work with multiple puppets at once or within moments of each other thus switching quickly between personalities and rapidly moving around the set. As a result it’s quite physical and there’s a constant sense of energy and drive pushing the performance onwards. The 2 hour performance goes by in a flash!

“Avenue Q” is set in NYC and there are very few changes from the American version; certainly it didn’t seem to affect the audience’s reaction. Overall all of us loved the musical and the other people in the crowd definitely agreed as well! After such a great performance I’ve even developed a crush on actor Daniel Boys!

London’s “Avenue Q” will be closing on 28 March 2009. Make sure you see it before then!

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