Thursday, 28 August 2014

Review: Avenue Q (UK Tour) at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Avenue Q (UK Tour)
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Tuesday 26th August 2014

This was my fourth time seeing Avenue Q over the past year. Showing no signs of growing tired, I can't get enough of Robert Lopez, Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty's musical. Sell A Door's UK touring production has improved significantly since I last saw it four months ago when I left the theatre with a sore throat from laughing so hard.

Avenue Q follows a group of neighbours who are facing the issues and anxieties associated with entering adulthood. As the show progresses the characters begin to discover who they are and what their purpose is in life. Sesame Street style puppets perform alongside real people, creating a unique but strong recipe for a musical.

I love watching people discover Avenue Q for the first time. The score is outrageously funny, with songs such as 'The Internet Is For Porn', 'Everyone's A Little Bit Racist' and 'If You Were Gay' bringing the house down. Audience members were screaming, burying their heads in their hands and dropping their jaws to the ground.

It was remarkable to see how Tom Steedon's performance has grown since the tour first opened. Previously he didn't put a foot wrong as Princeton/Rod but now he truly shines, leading the cast with his wit and impeccable stage presence. Steedon treats his puppets like extra limbs and it's wonderful to watch him relish every moment. An exciting career looks set to lie ahead.

The rest of the cast are all strong, with Stephen Arden (Nicky/Trekkie Monster), Jacqueline Tate (Christmas Eve) and Lucie-Mae Sumner (Kate Monster/Lucy the Slut) providing stand out performances. Avenue Q may be daring and outrageous, but it also has heart which is the secret to its success. It's not just about puppets swearing and having sex (although this does play an integral part), some of the songs have poignant, relatable messages.

Without huge sets and glittering costumes, Avenue Q relies on its brilliant script and the talent of its cast. Those who are easily offended should not book tickets, but if you're open minded and up for a laugh Avenue Q was written for you. Avenue Q provides a night out like no other.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Avenue Q runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 30th August 2014 and tours the UK until Saturday 20th September 2014. Please visit for further information, tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Darren Bell

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