Avenue Q

Date 3rd June 2015
Society Overton Dramatic Society
Venue St Mary's Hall, Overton
Type of Production Musical Comedy
Director Alice Ellingham with Johanna Thompson
Musical Director Frank Bell

Report

Author: Chris Horton

AVENUE Q is a contemporary musical comedy by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx. Puppets and humans live on the same American street and it can be crude and foul mouthed and you don’t normally get that in a musical!  It tells the story of Princeton (a puppet) who moves into Avenue Q and it covers events over the course of his new life.  Sometimes the plot line tends to wander but the individual performances and songs are crisp and focussed. 

The Avenue was realistically created with doors and windows allowing the characters to enter and exit at appropriate times.  The puppets were effortlessly and confidently controlled by the puppeteers and that must have been tricky but they rose admirably to the challenge. 

The lighting was effective throughout and well controlled.  The live band provided great musical accompaniment for the vocal talents of the cast, marshalled by Frank Bell, the musical director.

The outstanding talent of the cast and backstage and technical support resounded throughout this excellent production.   This thoroughly infectious musical, pushed the boundaries for the society and the content of the show says things that a lot of us are thinking but afraid to say out loud.  It addresses real issues: homosexuality, relationships, racism and pornography yet its honest and light-hearted. The puppeteers are to be admired for acquiring the tricky skill needed to use the puppets while singing and dancing   With a great set, impeccable effects and high production values this was the first time I’ve seen Avenue Q and I enjoyed it immensely. My favourite moments being: Schadenfreude, the short cartoon film “Purpose” and the play on words with the formation of the Monsterssori School as well as (of course!) “The Internet is for......Porn”!   Well done Alice Ellingham and all at ODS for having the vision to stage Avenue Q with great style and energy.