Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Review: Avenue Q at Cottiers Theatre

With themes such as racism, homosexuality and porn I think it's safe to say that Avenue Q is not your average musical, so it's fitting that it makes its amateur debut in Glasgow with Mad Props, who are certainly not your average theatre company. They are bringing fresh shows to Glasgow whilst raising funds for Leukaemia and  Lymphoma Research.

Imagine a world where humans and puppets collide (or as many have dubbed it - The Sesame Street for adults) and you're on your way to understanding the plot.  Avenue Q follows Princeton, fresh out of college with a useless BA and an empty wallet. While looking for his purpose in life and an apartment in his price range, he stumbles across a neighbourhood filled with the wackiest yet most endearing people you could ever meet.

Marelle Sturrock was outstanding playing (and operating) Kate Monster, an idealist who has dreams of building a school for monsters and wants nothing more than to be lucky in love. Fantastic vocals and really polished movements allowed for the focus to stay on the puppet. Niall Murray was also vocally brilliant with great comic timing as Princeton and a special mention to Brandon Campbell who had me in stitches with his portrayal of  porn-obsessed Trekkie Monster.

The set looked like it had been plucked straight from the West End production with a large two-storey apartment building dominating the stage. Some of the prop movements weren't slick but who can grumble when the audience were lapping it up. The music is so politically incorrect yet absolutely hilarious, and it’s really refreshing to see a show embrace topics that are most often avoided and explore them in a satirical way.

Avenue Q is a story so true to life and so full of heart and warmth that it will leave you with a smile across your face. Judging by the audience chat after curtain call Mad Props definitely achieved this.

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