Review: Avenue Q at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

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REVIEW: Beauty and The Beast at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham

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When I was first told that you’d soon forget the highly visible puppeteers on stage and focus on the puppets, I’ll admit, I was sceptical.

But in no time you find yourself accepting that the three human actors are interacting with the puppets on entirely equal terms.

The plot of the musical is slight – focusing on the residents of the rundown Avenue Q neighbourhood, recent English lit graduate Princeton is trying to find a purpose, while Rod, an uptight Republican banker struggles to come to terms with his homosexuality.

But what it does do is allow the set-up for some riotously funny and lewd songs, such as Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist and The Internet is for Porn.

And for those who’ve seen Team America, there’s a segment that even manages to top that film’s infamous sex scene, while a woman playing the late Gary Coleman, obviously, sings You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want.

But there is a surprising warmth and depth, and it is so much more than just ‘rude Muppets.’

Until Friday. CHRIS BROOM