Thursday, January 8

Avenue Q

Think Team America live and you'll have an idea of what to expect from Avenue Q. It's a tale of, well, the harsh reality of life as we follow around Princeton, Kate and an array of other wild and zany characters as they go about and handle work, relationships, sexuality and the real purpose we have in our lives.

But before a philosophy, there's no doubt that Avenue Q is a comedy, especially if my sometimes embarrassingly loud laughter had anything to do with it. It was all so slapstick, satirical, smutty, witty, tragic (the song "Schadenfreude" was very apt) and just plain funny it could have done away with any plot or characterisation and just left us with the jokes and been worth it.

But it didn't just leave it there. The play was technically excellent too, with some of the best performances I've seen on the stage. You see a puppet character didn't just consist of the puppet but of the puppeteer also, resulting in a symbiotic character made up of the two. It was a really weird yet effective technique which both helped with the suspension of disbelief and allowed us to take the puppet characters seriously (of sorts). I can't stress how skillful the performances were.

The single set was flexible enough to represent a variety of scenarios, and the props and supporting equipment (like the monitor displays) were all used to full effect. we watched from the Royal Circle (the first balcony) which gave an excellent view for this particular performance.

The plot was simple yet effective in teaching the audience about life, love and everything in between and despite the bad language and smut it managed to get away with quite a high moral worth as well as some sweet romance as a bonus. If you liked Team America, South Park and Family Guy then you'll definitely like this. For those who think this brand of humour isn't funny, well there's also enough non-edgy stuff for you too (you prudes).

It's the first time I came away from a play wanting to see it again. And if it had been playing for another couple of years I might well have done; unfortunately it's off by the end of March so if you want to watch it you should do so as soon as possible. Get Into London Theatre are currently selling discounted top tickets, so you really have no excuse.

Funny funny funny, I loved Avenue Q and so totally and utterly recommend it. Oh and before I forget: yes there are puppets having sex in it too.