REVIEW: Avenue Q, The Lyceum

Lucy The Slut.
Lucy The Slut.
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GRAB the positive vibe of Sesame Street, the mischief of Emu and throw in a hefty helping of adult humour that’ll send the politically correct brigade running for cover and you’re somewhere approaching life in this New York street.

After five years of grabbing laughs in the West End this warming, often hilarious and utterly unique musical show is doing the regional rounds with a young, talented and energetic new cast.

Enter newly graduated Princeton, seeking purpose to his life in a low-rent zip code where dreams have been put on hold. He meets love-struck Kate Monster, closet gay broker Rod, Gary the former Different Strokes actor-turned-landlord, rug-like porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster and Lucy The Slut who throws sexual pepper into the mix of home truths.

While the combination of human actors and puppets is reminiscent of Sesame Street, the action is often anything but – can’t recall The Count getting x-rated with Big Bird, can you? The likes of fresh-faced Adam Pettigrew (Rod/Princeton) and Rachel Jerram (Kate/Lucy) openly operate their puppets while lending the facial expressions and voices.

And while there’s a fairly simple, occasionally schmaltzy, message to their story of romance and hope there’s vibrant humour to songs that tell us it’s okay to be gay, that we’re all a bit racist, that the internet is “just for porn” and that seeing people down on their luck is okay because it makes us feel better.

The result is a colourful, outrageous, explosive slice of brilliantly original theatre that will be far from everyone’s cup of tea, but will certainly have plenty of us giggling for months. Join the Q until Saturday.

David Dunn