Avenue Q is a well-established modern musical that uses cute cuddly puppets to soften the blow of home truths and politically incorrect statements. Skilfully funny and easy to relate to, Sell A Door Theatre Company’s production filled the auditorium with hysterical laughter from a diverse crowd. Having won three Tony Awards and completing a successful run on the West End, Sell a Door Theatre company had high expectations to live up to. With a highly skilled cast and excellent creative team they have not let down the legacy of Avenue Q.
With lyrics that make you laugh out loud, Avenue Q’s songs covered topics such as racism, homosexuality and (something I can relate to) what to do after you complete a BA in English. Despite having a technically negative attitude “it sucks to be me” the show made the audience re-evaluate their lives and see that the struggles of life are human and not personal: we are all in this together. With this message, the audience left the theatre with an energetic positivity.
The cast deserve to be congratulated on their abilities to be puppeteer and energetic performer at the same time. Seeing the puppets’ characters anthropomorphised in the actors themselves created a magical connection between puppet and human. It was very interesting to see the traditional ventriloquist taken out of the equation.
The whole cast were of course exceptionally talented but Stephen Arden (Nicky, Trekkie Monster and Bad Idea Bear) deserves to be mentioned in particular. His diverse acting ability was strongly visible in this performance. In particular, his characterisation of Trekkie Monster took the production to a whole other level of energy. The vocal changes between each character were impressive and each was given a strong and unique personality. Although difficult to do, Arden successfully managed to focus the audience solely on the identity of the puppets rather than on his identity as a puppeteer.
This production will be playing at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch until 6th February before continuing with its UK tour at various other locations. I urge you to buy tickets for this West End standard production at community theatre prices: