Living on Avenue Q is racy, raucous and a lot of fun.
We meet Princeton, a young man looking for a meaning in his life, seeking a purpose. He moves into the avenue and meets a mixture of characters each with their own problems. Along comes Kate, they are attracted to each other and friendship boils over into love, or perhaps lust, and the sex scene leaves nothing to the imagination.
How does a theatre company get away with it? They tell the story through the use of puppets, it owes a lot to The Muppets and Sesame Street except the puppeteers are on stage all the time working the puppets, speaking for them and mirroring their every move and attitude.
It is choreographed in detail, sometimes two actors working one puppet in total coordination, it’s cleaver and fascinating. The script is contentious and offensive at times but through the voices of the puppets it becomes acceptable and funny. A cute fluffy monster can get away with discussing the Jewish community, racism, drunkenness, pornography and homosexuality. At the end Princeton admits there maybe is no purpose, nothing is for ever – even Donald Trump! Big round of applause.
There are warnings all round the theatre and on the programme that this show is not suitable for little monsters not only because of the issues but also because of the language used.
With a live band and a lot of catchy songs this is a theatrical production that’s unique, intriguing and entertaining.
by Anne Hailes
Grand Opera House Belfast
Until Saturday 12th March 2016.
Details at www.goh.co.uk