This week I finally enjoyed the opportunity to watch Avenue Q on stage in London’s Wyndham Theatre on West End. I’ve got to say: I was excited as hell. You see, Avenue Q is, without a fraction of a doubt, a fantastic musical. It’s rude and outrageous while simultaneously heartwarming and, most importantly, hilarious. From the opening songs “What Do You Do With a B.A. In English? / It Sucks To Be Me” and “The Internet Is For Porn” to the melancholic “There’s A Fine, Fine Line” and uplifting climax of “For Now”.
London’s current rendition of the musical sees a few modifications to bring it up to the times: a reference to George Bush is changed to a reference to BP, alongside a few minor removals of comments deemed slightly too racist for the show – although, as explained in the song “Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist”, perhaps people are taking the show a bit too seriously if they find it racist. After all, the performance is largely carried by puppets, albeit extremely expressive ones. It’s hard to describe the visual aspect of Avenue Q; suffice it to say that it’s seamless and filled with character.
Despite the use of puppets, the show remains targeted at a mature audience, not at children; repetitive use of profanity and one explicit puppet sex scene (including a variety of types and positions) should deter you from bringing any children younger than 13 to the show, even if there is no real age restriction. All in all, I recommend Avenue Q to anyone with an open mind and a great sense of humour: it’s officially my favourite musical and it was one of the best live performances I’ve ever seen (and while I can’t speak for the Broadway production, I’m sure it’s just as good, if not better). See it now!