Director/Choreographer: Cressida Carre
Musical Director: Daniel Griffin
Reviewer: Sara Jackson &Phil Collingwood
Sell A Door Theatre bring the hilarious hit comedy Avenue Q to Doncaster’s CAST and after years on Broadway, the West End and numerous awards, there is a great expectation placed on this production. It does not disappoint.
From the outset the audience is laughing, bouncing to the music and waiting in anticipation for the next toe tapping song. Avenue Q follows a very simple storyline, with each scene giving way to songs which most of the audience recognise and sometimes can’t help but sing along with. Even if you have never seen Avenue Q before, if you are a fan of musical theatre there is a good chance you will recognise some of the brilliant score by Jess Marx and Bobby Lopez. ‘There’s a Fine Fine Line’, ‘It sucks to be me’ and ‘Schadenfreude’ are becoming well known classics and are sung with brilliant close harmonies reminiscent of a full choir, as opposed to asmall cast of 11. The set, designed by Richard Evens, is perfectly simple and effective, while the puppets are colourful and exciting; the design team have brought everything together to allow the audience to buy into the world of Avenue Q.
The cast is made up of a mixture of humans and puppets including a closeted gay banker struggling with his sexuality, an English graduate searching for his purpose, a kindergarten teacher who is monster and a sex goddess called Lucy The Slut. Sarah Harlington as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut masterfully manipulates the puppets giving them true characters, but the whole cast are brilliant, all the while allowing the puppets to take centre stage. In the final scene we see many of them manipulating two puppets who are both singing different things at the same time, and they make it look easy.
There are one or two minor issues with this performance. The lack of curtains left the stage management team changing scenery in front of the audience, which detracted a little from the magic of the piece. In addition, the television screens used were very small and high up, leaving the audience straining to see what was happening. However these were only small issues and did not detract from the overall enjoyment of the piece.
This show is well worth a visit. Get your friend and family together (leave your kids with a babysitter), grab a drink or two and head down to Avenue Q.
Runs until: Saturday 11th of July