ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Avenue Q: Review at New Wimbledon Theatre

Updated on March 16, 2016

Avenue Q on UK Tour

Avenue Q has been described as irreverent, funny and crude. It is all of these and more, shaped very much by a crowd-pleasing set of songs in the first half and a subversive element that tackles big issues with politically incorrect joy.

The show has been touring the UK and the first night at New Wimbledon Theatre had all the energy you would hope for. The great strength of the production is the seamless interaction of human actors and puppets against the backdrop of a New York suburb. It would be easy to use Sesame Street as a reference point, but the harder edge of street life is tackled with a revelry that relies on the puppets becoming almost human in their hopes and fears.

Main Characters in Avenue Q

The sheer tenacity of the actors in getting under the skin of their furry friends is truly remarkable. Sarah Harlington plays the sweet-natured Kate Monster and man-eating Lucy The Slut with elan while Richard Lowe literally carries main protagonist Princeton, who wonders how he can tackle the world with a degree in English. The real thrust of the early speaking part of the show is provided by Arina II as Christmas Eve, a Japanese therapist who has no clients and tells her live-in partner Brian, a tubby short-wearing thirtysomething dreamer, to "go get job".

.

Classic Songs Elevate Avenue Q

The songs are deliciously fun and tackle all the negatives that your parents forgot to tell you about. "It Sucks to be Me", "If You Were Gay" and the yearning for simpler times in "I Wish I could Go Back to College" are instantly memorable. What really works is "Everybody's a Little Bit Racist" with stereotypical glee being passed around and digested by each character in such a way that it is inoffensive. The only real weak link in the chain is the Gary Coleman character, the former black child star turned superintendent. His presence (played by a woman Esisyai Philip) almost seems tokenistic.


Trekkie Monster and Bad Idea Bears

That is the whole point of Avenue Q. The puppets can pretty much get away with anything. And they do. This includes a sex scene that leaves little to the imagination and the more base needs of a Trekkie Monster, who is like a rougher version of Cookie Monster, but obsessed with porn rather than biscuits. "The Internet is for Porn" is one number that simply has to be heard. It will not leave the head, for better or for worse. There is also a running commentary on a TV screen relating to life's purpose and a skilful play on words on how our empty selves fall prey to schadenfreude.


The Bad Idea Bears are another masterstroke, acting as the squeaky-voiced high spirited saboteurs in the relationship between Princeton and Kate Monster. Their incessant cuddly banter is a comedy high point but they work like a pair of sinister Ewoks

Avenue Q essentially muses on life's difficulties but also its possibilities. The message is: "Big Bird won't be there to help you through your adulthood. You have to figure that out for yourself." Then again, everything in life is only transient and"only for now". The delivery of the message can sometimes push the envelope for the more traditional theatre goer, but there is enough margin for any crudity to be taken in good spirit. Just don't make the mistake of taking your kids.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)