IT WAS obvious from the word go that Avenue Q was something special, such was the expectant hush as the curtain went up.
And I was definitely seated next to someone who’d been before, an ardent fan digging her nails into the seat in excitement.
What unfolded was definitely worth waiting for.
What to write about it though is much harder, because although this is essentially an adult show with a 16+ certificate, Avenue Q is comfortably risque.
Yes the puppets, which resemble muppets, have a hilarious full-on sex scene, but it makes you cry with laughter rather than squeal in horror.
The songs are also provocatively titled; Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist, If You Were Gay, You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You’re Makin’ Love) and The Internet Is for Porn, but they are sung with the full gusto of any West End musical, with wonderful tunes and harmonising, which dilute the subject matter. And because the entire show is set on Avenue Q and centres around a group of resident muppets/puppets and their problems, you feel like you are in on the action.
It’s very inclusive.
To set the scene, Princeton arrives at Avenue Q with a ‘useless’ degree and a suitcase, waiting for his life to begin, and finds out that being a grown-up comes with a whole new set of problems.
The first half addresses his meet-a-nice-girl hopes, while the second half concerns his playing around with the wonderfully named Lucy The Slut while trying to find his purpose.
In the second half it slightly loses its bite, being disappointingly less controversial as it turns into more of a Disney-esque storyline with the expected happy ending.
However, the slick delivery, addictive tunes, strikingly professional actors, fabulous sets, and all round singing-and-dancing atmosphere make this a night to remember.