Review: Avenue Q at The Palace Theatre Manchester

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When we heard that the touring production of Avenue Q was heading to Manchester i could not be more excited (So excited was i that in order to secure a ticket i entered The Palace`s Twitter competition to make sure i was there)

The Theatre was packed to the rafters with some serious fans and people new to the whole adult puppet genre.

The West End and Broadway hit has ran in the UK for five years – and has appeared in 10 countries across the globe and has even graced the stage of The royal variety performace.
The multi Award-winning Avenue Q focuses on the tale bright-eyed university graduate Princeton who , after recently leaving college is trying to find his way in life – and after his budget did not stretch to the other neighbourhoods in New York, ends up on Avenue Q where he rents an appartment from Gary Coleman, yes, The Gary Coleman…. (ok so in the original it really was The real Gary Coleman but in this production is played abely by Etisyai Philip who did a marvellous job and got Gary`s mannerisms down to a T) and sets out to find his purpose

If you’ve not heard of the show before, the song titles pretty much give the game away,
songs include The Internet Is For Porn, Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist, If You Were Gay , schadenfreude (woohoo i can type it without a dictionary) and more

Billed as “not suitable for little monsters (ya think?) and with a slight resemblance of Sesame Street it`s more than fun it`s just not suitable for anyone easily offended, think Sesame Street meets South Park and add the odd puppet sex scene you are half way there.

You can call it what you wish , risque , raunchy, subversive, satirical and offensive but Avenue Q will always hold a dear spot in my heart and it will always be hilarious in my book (It should be pointed out at this point that my sense of humour is skewed to subversive comedy and Avenue Q has plenty of that!)

With some memorable songs and some great performances (see below) it was a great show although there were a couple of technical issues like sound not coming up in the right places a couple of times but nothing that can not be explained due to the touring nature of the show.
Richard Lowe did a great job as Princeton and Rod and his portrayal of both and puppet work was amazing yet understated , Sarah Harlington`s portrayal of Kate has really matured since last years tour and the mannerisms of Kate and the artistic touches added to her performance.

Her voice range is amazing especially as at times both her characters are on stage and are talking to each other (some very , very clever puppetry and stage management).

Stephen Arden`s Trekkie bought the whole house down with some great comedic touches and some very great puppet management and his Nicky was spot on as was his bad idea bear

Arina II (Christmas Eve) and Richard Morse (Brian) did exceptionally well and it should be noted that they helped to tie the whole production together with their very professional performances

A special note should be made at this point for Jessica Parker for her take on Mrs T and one of the bad idea bears and all the ensemble for pulling off a very slick performance

Final result

‘You’d be a muppet to miss it,’ reads the slogan and i heartily agree!
If you can catch this while it is in Manchester and are not easily offended get down to the palace.. just do not take the kids


*it got the extra half a star for the sly dig at David Cameron which if you blink you will miss it

To book tickets for Avenue Q Click HERE

Avenue Q runs until the  7th May at The Palace and then continues it`s Nationwide tour


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