Thursday, 7 May 2015

PREVIEW - Avenue Q, Greenwich Theatre

MEET Princeton, a bright-eyed college graduate who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account.
Except Princeton isn't your average chap. In fact he's a puppet and is the star of Avenue Q, a witty, satirical coming of age parable which has been entertaining audiences since it first opened off Broadway in 2003.
Since then it has transferred to the West End and won a Tony Award 'triple crown' for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.
It is now on a six month tour of the UK with a stop at Greenwich Theatre, the home of its producers, Sell A Door.
But if you look at the puppets and are considering taking the kids to see the show, you may want to think again.
"It's a lovely show, very funny and with a story and message that is universal but the language used is a bit more fruity than you'd expect from perhaps a traditional puppet show," laughs director Cressida Carre.
"In fact some of the language is distinctly unchild friendly and definitely not suitable for young children so we've recommended it for those aged 14 and up."
The Charlton-based director says that aside the show is "fantastic" and has been a joy to be part of.
"We have a great cast who are really talented and we are incredibly excited to bring it to Greenwich," she says.
The story revolves around Princeton who discovers that the only New York neighbourhood in his price range is Avenue Q and he soon finds himself moving in with some truly quirky characters.
There’s Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancĂ©e Christmas Eve, Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his closet gay Republican room-mate Rod, an internet ‘sexpert’ called Trekkie Monster and a very cute kindergarten teacher named Kate Monster."
"It's a story of a boy growing up, his hopes and dreams for the future and what he goes through to get there," says Cressida.
"Along the way he meets some pretty colourful characters who help him find purpose in life. It's a real feel good story, realising what we have to do in life, how we treat people and all the emotions that goes with that.
"It's an incredibly well written script and an amazing score and it takes you from laughing til your stomach hurts to near tears. It's brilliant."
Much like the Muppets and Sesame Street characters, who many have likened them to, they are operated by one or two actors who have been put through their paces by a puppet coach.
And it is the first time Cressida has worked with puppets and says although it's been a challenge she has "loved every second".
"Using puppets is very challenging," she says. "It's a real skill and the actors have to channel all the emotion and expressions through the puppets - they dance and sing too - it's quite special.
"Directing them has been amazing and what's fantastic is that after about five minutes you forget the actors are even on the stage as you concentrate on the puppets.
"It's been an incredible and fascinating experience and very clever and I know audiences are going to love it."

Avenue Q is on at Greenwich Theatre, Crooms Hill, from Tuesday, May 12 until Sunday, May 24. Tickets from £28.50. Visit or call the box office on 020 8858 7755.

No comments:

Post a Comment