Once you’ve seen puppets singing songs called If You Were Gay, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist and The Internet’s For Porn you’ll probably never look at Sooty and Sweet in the same way again.
Avenue Q opened at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre last night, it’s second stint in 18 months, and despite the child-friendly looking posters advertising the show, you’ll probably want to think twice before taking the kids along. This X-rated version of Sesame Street crossed with The Muppets is a politically incorrect barrel of laughs from start to finish. The Tony Award-winning puppet show is the perfect remedy to brighten up this gloomy summer – subjects including racism, homosexuality, suicide, porn, homelessness, depression and love are all highly featured throughout.
The story tells of the residents of a downmarket New York street, Avenue Q, and the everyday problems they have to deal with. Characters include Kate Monster, the single Kindergarten teacher; Princeton, the unemployed university graduate; Trekkie Monster, the “pervert” (who is definitely not
related to Kate); Lucy the Slut, Gary Coleman (based on the Diff’rent Strokes actor) and Christmas Eve – a hilarious Chinese/Japanese stereotype. The performers not only sing and act but excellently control the puppets. The only human characters are Gary Coleman, the building handyman of Avenue Q, and couple Brian and Christmas Eve.
The songs from the outset are hilarious, instantly catchy,and you’ll find yourself singing along by the end of each number – without really giving a thought for the un-PC content of the songs. The laugh out loud moments are there right from the very beginning, but don’t worry that the funnies will wear thin; Avenue Q is perfectly balanced throughout and will keep you laughing right until the very end.
If you’re not easily offended and like to laugh until your jaw aches, get down to Avenue Q at The Mayflower before they move on to the next street.
Avenue Q runs until Saturday 14th July and tickets are available from just £10 from the Mayflower website: