The filthiest, funniest show ever
Filthy, filter free and absolutely fabulous, Avenue Q is wet your pants funny – and those puppets do things that will make your nan blush.
Love The Muppets? Sentimental about Sesame Street? Then Avenue Q is going to be right up your street and it’s fully loaded with the kind of X rated, smutty humour we love here at Muddy.
The Tony-award-winning musical show, which first appeared off Broadway in 2003, tells the story of a bunch of loveable, potty-mouthed puppets and pals living on a downtown New York Street. In just over two hours, we cover hopes, dreams and most of life’s burning questions with clever lyrics and toe-tapping show tunes: What On Earth Do You Do With A BA In English?, The Internet Is For Porn, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, If I Were Gay and I’m Not Wearing Underwear Today some of the highlights. And then there’s the filthiest puppet sex scene you will ever (er, hopefully) see in your life.
The story centres around English grad, Princeston’s search for purpose. Green from college he rocks up in NYC, rents an apartment on Avenue Q and is welcomed by its eclectic mix of residents. It’s here, he meets love interests Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut (both played by the stupendously talented Cecily Redman), Republican banker and closet homosexual Ron (Laurence Smith bringing both Princeston and Ron to life), pervy, porn addicted Trekkie Monster, Nicky and one Bad Idea Bear are all handled by Tom Steedon, with Meghan Armstrong operating the other Bad Idea Bear – because Tom’s wasn’t blessed with octopus arms.
As for the humans, Saori Oda puts in a kick ass comedy performance as Christmas Eve and Nicholas Mclean, as Gary Coleman, backs up comedy with superb vocals making Schadenfreude a highlight of Act two. Audience members of a certain age will appreciate the Different Strokes references, too.
The puppets are caricatures and the puppeteers are visible, acting and singing alongside their characters. And yet, the lines between the two are blurred and you believe every moment of heartbreak, joy and all the filthy bits in between. There are some scenes you simply cannot unsee. Let’s just leave it there. When you watch the show you’ll know EXACTLY what I mean.
Without question, Cecily Redman was a standout star for me. Not only does she have a fabulous singing voice, but her ability to seemlessly flip from the sweet Kate Monster to a promiscuous sex siren Lucy The Slut, was seemless and impressive. It’s like she’s got a multiple personality disorder. That said, the whole cast were faultless. Bubbling with energy, each given the opportunity to step into the spotlight. Fittingly, they come together for the climactic song You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love).
The simple one set gives the show that retro TV show vibe and the use of elevated TV screens, cleverly recreates the familiar Sesame Street spelling break outs. It is without question the funniest, filthiest thing I have ever seen.
The teenager’s feedback? ‘”Come to the theatre,” you said. “It’s a puppet show,” you said. Mum, it’s puppet porn!’ But, boy, did we laugh. The parental halo may have slipped a bit. OK a lot. But the audience howled with laughter, and I guarantee we’ll all be talking about it for weeks. Job done. Go and see it.
Avenue Q is at the The Hexagon theatre in Reading until Sat 27 April, then continues to tour the UK until October.