Review: Avenue Q (2015)

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Until: Saturday 29 August 2015
Performance Reviewed: Tuesday 25 August 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

The current tour of Avenue Q by Sell A Door Theatre Company, tells the story of the residents of a downmarket New York street and the problems they are dealing with. Characters include Kate Monster, the single Kindergarten teacher; Princeton, the unemployed university graduate; Trekkie Monster, the “pervert”, Lucy the Slut and Gary Coleman (based on the Diff’rent Strokes actor – a reference that may be getting slightly dated now). The performers not only sing and act but control a puppet (or at least an arm). The only human characters are Gary Coleman, the building superintendent of Avenue Q, and couple Brian and Christmas Eve.

Sarah Harlington is outstanding as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, with a versatile singing voice switching between the high-pitched innocent voice of Kate Monster and the sexy siren voice of Lucy. She also effortlessly switches between the accents and tones of each character when speaking.

Richard Lowe in the roles of Princeton and Rod does exactly the same too. Stephen Arden, from Glasgow, alternates between Nicky, Trekkie Monster and Bad Idea Bear (all with very different vocal ranges)– it’s safe to say this is a very talented, multi-tasking cast. Arina Il as Christmas Eve is laugh-out-loud funny, with a great rendition of The More You Ruv Someone.

With songs such as It Sucks to be Me, What Do You Do with a BA in English?, If You Were Gay, Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist and The Internet is for Porn, it is clear that Avenue Q is not for the easily offended. The music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx are at times equally shocking and hilarious but certainly memorable!

The set by Richard Evans is simple yet effective, with fold down sections representing the apartments of the various residents of Avenue Q. There are also fun interludes on the two screens at the top of the stage which are very Sesame Street in style and guaranteed to make you laugh. It’s easy to see why Avenue Q has been described as ‘Sesame Street for adults’

Avenue Q takes the audience through the trials and tribulations of adult life, from finding a job, a partner, somewhere to live or even your purpose but does so in a fun and innovative way.

Be sure to catch Avenue Q while it is in Glasgow as it is not back in Scotland until 2016, where it visits Aberdeen in March and Edinburgh in May.

For Glasgow tickets, visit: King’s Theatre website