Avenue Q at The Liverpool Empire

Posted on 23 February 2016
By Chris High
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For those who have yet to witness this adultified version of Sesame Street, what’s been keeping you? Avenue Q is the most fun you can possibly have with a sock – unless you listen to Trekkie Monster, that is – and it is at The Liverpool Empire Theatre until Saturday, so get your skates on. Oh, and leave the little kids at home and let the big kids play out until late instead!

What makes Avenue Q so good? Well, the sheer impertinence of taking what is loosely the much loved children’s educational programme and turning it into musical filled with grown up moral dilemmas such as saying it’s okay if we’re all just a little bit racist and that it doesn’t matter if you’re Gay because you’ll always have friends that don’t mind and that it is actually okay to shop on line and still, nevertheless enjoy hours of porn over the internet.

How they get away with it so successfully is simple: Everything the magnificent foam and latex covered stars say has a semblance of truth whether we like it or not and it is in the not liking fully of some of the avenues (sorry) the show casually saunters – those which make us cringe most – is what makes it funny.

Added to the this are the actors who throughout manage to become invisible beside their glove controlled cohorts, most notable of whom being Stephen Arden and Richard Lowe as the closet homosexuals Nicky and Rod, who absolutely define the difficulties of modern life in manner guaranteed to have you howling with joy.

Superb too are Arina Il as Christmas Eve – now here’s a voice that should be fully recognised as being superb – and Richard Morse as the downtrodden, wannabe comic Brian who simply lights up ever scene he is in.

Overall though it is the script that wins and the manner in which it is delivered will have you laughing and wincing in equal measures, the likes of which that hasn’t been the case since Jerry Spring: The Opera hit town all those years ago. A pinch of salt very definitely needs to be taken but, hey, go with it and you’ll have an absolute ball!

Avenue Q
Liverpool Empire Theatre
February 22 – February 27, 2016
Director / Choreographer: Cressida Carre
Puppet Coach: Nigel Plaskitt
Puppet Designer: Paul Jomain
Cast Includes: Stephen Arden, Sarah Harlington, Arina Il, Richard Lowe, Richard Morse, Etisyai Philip, Jessica Parker
Running Time: 2 hrs 15 mins
PR Rating: **** Irreverent Fun