"..a faultless production and hilarious to watch with lots of laugh-out-loud comedy.."
This week The Alexandra Theatre is staging Lopez and Marx's musical comedy - Avenue Q. The production cleverly features interacting puppets and human actors on stage and brings you the stories of several quirky characters who live at Avenue Q, featuring mainly around Princeton who moves into the neighbourhood in order to find his purpose.
The puppets have hilarious and sometimes naughty personalities. The puppeteers create the characters with unique voice artistry and clever motion. Even though the puppeteers are visible on stage the audiences focus is cleverly kept on the puppets. The Cookie Monster and the Blonde Bombshell were operated and voiced by Cecily Redman. Both Cecily Redman and Lawrence Smith, who voiced Princeton, were incredible at bringing these two on/off lovers to life. They provided superb voices and acted well throughout. Cecily Redman provided a strong and emotive vocal performance when she sang `There`s A Fine, Fine Line'.
Other puppet highlights were performances by the crude and naughty characters of Trekkie Monster, voiced by Tom Steedon, and the very entertaining Bad Idea Bears.
'Human' actors Christmas Eve (Saori Oda), Brain (Oliver Stanley) and Gary Coleman (Nicholas McClean) fitted in perfectly amongst all the zany colourful puppets. and all with great chemistry, delighting the audience with fast-paced comedic routines.
Musical highlights included `It Sucks To Be Me`, `If You Were Gay` and `I`m Not Wearing Underwear Today`. With slapstick comedy and crude jokes this is not a family show nor a show for the easily-offended, but adults with a great sense of humour will just love it. The set, which subtly adapts during the performance, works brilliantly along with the use of two television screens.
In all, this was a faultless production and hilarious to watch with lots of laugh-out-loud comedy, ending with a standing ovation which was most certainly deserved.
Runs to 16 February
Age guide over 16
Contains strong adult themes
"...the detail and commitment to the show unsurpassed."
Friends, Romans and Countrymen - this week, Spotlight Youth Productions are performing at Nortonicus Canicus High School and, in true Spotlight Youth style, they bring with them an abundance of energy, laughter and talent that’s guaranteed to keep you smiling all night. This young, Queen’s Awarded group never disappoints and continues to perform to the highest of standards and their take on this classic tale really is something to celebrate.
Set in pantoesque Roman Britain, the story features around the peaceful Romans and Brits of Nortonicus Canicus and the battle between the rotten Romans of nearby Brownhullisium (and their band of Gladiators) and the formidable Boadicea. Boadicea instructs her not-so-twin daughters to sell her horse, Jack, and buy a newer, improved model. The girls exchange Jack for some magic beans (aha! That old magic bean trick!) and a spaghetti beanstalk takes everyone into the land of the gorgeous Roman Gods, rather than warty old Giants.
So, it may be a step away from the traditional story, and a little more complex in layers, but the enthusiasm and energy from the cast is infectious and the detail and commitment to the show unsurpassed.
Costumes wow! Choreography – a serious wow! Set, props and tech – all wow! (how many ‘wows’ am I allowed?). Live band absolutely spot-on, script by Jackie Anderson top notch... and the kids? Well, they get my biggest WOW! Too large a cast to mention individually but as an all-singing-all-dancing group they kept up the fast pace without a dip and succeeded in delivering the jokes, routines and daft drama in a most delightful and off-the-wall way. Its unique and it works.
Just before I sign off, I have to mention Ben Carr as Mercury – Ben, you were absolutely born for panto.
Congratulations to all.
Runs to 10 Feb
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