By Emili Peake – Features Editor
Relatable to students, witty and entertaining; Avenue Q is currently showing at the Charter Theatre in Preston.
Frequency and Pluto teamed up on the opening night of Avenue Q to tell you why we think you should be seeing the show.
Set in New York, Avenue Q tells the story about the reality of growing – much akin to graduating from University. The story arc is comparable to such musicals as A Chorus Line and Rent. To set apart from the standard musical comedy, Avenue Q uses puppetry for the main characters and people for the secondary characters. Though not affiliated with Jim Henderson or Seasame Street the use of learning through song and educational animated shorts are cleverly worked into the show.
When I first discovered that the main characters were puppets, I was worried that the puppeteers would detract from the performance. It has to be said, that through detailed choreography and talented cast, this only adds to the performance. The voices of each puppet is doubled up within the main cast, with chorus operating the movements of some characters where the pair are both in the scene. I draw particular note to the Bar scene, where there is an interaction between Lucy the Slut and Kate Monster, by of which are voiced by Sarah Harlington. Whilst Lucy the Slut is operated by Jessica Parker (Who’s Lucy Strut is simply fabulous) Harlington use blocking to vocalise Lucy the Slut whilst operating Kate Monster. There is also a series of seamless switches between puppeteers, which were unnoticed by most of our party.
My main criticisms of the show come not from the cast or writing, but from the theatre. With the set emulating a run down, New York street, the size of the stage in the Charter Theatre means that the housing looks slightly squashed and the stage loses a slight amount of depth. We were also sat far stage left and were unable to see one of the windows in the houses. We were unaware of this until we could hear a character but not see them! Similarly the TV screens in the Charter Theatre were far too small to do the spoof educational animations justice.
Aside from this I would have to say that this is one of the best musicals I have seen. After the first half I was in shock with the level of adult content and crying with laughter. Media officer, Hannah Mason joined us on the outing. “I went not knowing what to expect but came out at the end having really enjoyed it, I thought it was hilarious.”
Audience reactions and review from Frequency host, Luke Meyers airs tonight between 8pm – 10pm on Sounds of the Show. You can listen live at http://www.uclansu.co.uk/studentmedia/frequency. We will be updating this section with a sound cloud of the interviews after the live show.
If you haven’t been to see a good musical recently, it is easy to forget how the right mix of theatrics can play to your emotions. I left Avenue Q with a purpose and a warm, fuzzy feeling.
With a deal of £10 per ticket for UCLan students, going to see Avenue Q will not only cure boredom, but is a refreshing change from the standard drunken nights out. Ordinarily I would say that going to see a musical would add a touch of cultural refinement to your life but this is not the case with Avenue Q. With adult themes and modern and relevant content it is welcoming reminder the society has become full of self-importance and too worried about offending people.
Avenue Q is on each evening from 11th November until 14th November inclusive, with a matinee performance on Saturday 14th November. Tickets can be bought from http://www.prestonguildhall.com/events/view/77