Avenue Q at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Carousel by South Downe Musical Society. Nick Williams and Becky North.

REVIEW: Carousel at Ferneham Hall, Fareham

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Embarking on its second tour of the UK, American musical Avenue Q greets its audience with a mix of puppets and people.

It explores taboo subjects of racism, sexual orientation, whilst understanding the concept of individual identity through an uphill struggle known to us all too well today as life.

Main character/puppet, Princeton, played by Sam Lupton, tries to figure out his sole purpose after graduating. He befriends Kate Monster, his soon to be love interest, played by Katharine Moraz.

Throughout his journey the audience laughs, gasps (puppet nudity) and applauds whilst sympathising with these loveable and, at times, naïve characters.

Amusing parodies such as It Sucks to Be Me convey a successful yet bittersweet irony as Princeton in particular learns how hard it is to survive in the rat race.

Whilst the creators fiercely deny any similarities over Sesame Street, the clandestine relationship between puppets Rod and Nicky have similarities to Bert and Ernie, as does the loveable Trekkie Monster, played by Chris Thatcher, who has us in stitches during The Internet is for Porn.

To see it is to believe it!

Until Saturday.