I was gifted tickets in exchange for my honest review.
All opinions remain my own (with slight influence from the bad idea bears)
Avenue Q is not like your average musical
When I was invited to the recently rebranded and refurbished New Theatre, Peterborough to watch Avenue Q this week, I really didn’t know what to expect. I knew there would be puppets. I knew there would be songs. It was made pretty clear that it would be rude. That was the extent of my knowledge about the show.
What’s The Story?
The show centres around the residents of Avenue Q.
There is Princeton, a bright-eyed graduate who comes to New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account.
Brian the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancée Christmas Eve; Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his closet gay Republican roommate Rod.
An Internet ‘sexpert’ called Trekkie Monster, Lucy the Slut (yes, really!) and a very cute kindergarten teacher named Kate Monster.
Avenue Q first opened Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre in 2003, before transferring to Broadway later that year where it won three Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book. In 2006 it transferred to the West End where it ran for five years before touring the UK. It has appeared in more than ten countries all over the world. This show is really popular and with good reason!
Family night out?
Although it all looks like an episode of Sesame Street, do not be fooled. It is definitely not for kids. I would say 14 and up would be absolutely fine if they aren’t particularly sensitive. I was going to bring 13 year old Bess along but I have to be honest and say I was glad I decided to wait and take her next year. One particular scene was about as graphic as a scene with puppets could possibly be – and utterly hilarious. That said, I would have no qualms about listening to the soundtrack with her.
After years of watching shows like The Furchester Hotel and imagining the characters dropping the F word (Oh come on, as if you haven’t imagined Flop finally snapping at Bing!?) I feel like this show is aimed directly at me and people like me.
I went to see the show with my Mum and we both found it to be laugh out loud funny. The 2 and a half hour runtime (with 15min interval) absolutely flew by. I loved the characters and the way that the whole thing played out. Despite some of the gags and songs being very close to the knuckle, Avenue Q has a real feel good quality about it.
I have been humming “Everyone’s a little bit racist” for near on 24 hours now. The underlying message of the show is that life is short and that everything,even Boris Johnson, as the cast sang (to applause) is only for now and if you can fit the word Schadenfreude into a musical number, you definitely should.
Avenue Q is playing at The New Theatre, Peterborough until Saturday 28 September.
I decided to attend my first show at New Theatre with my Mum who happens to have arthritis and a blue badge. My first memories of being here were of seeing Peter Pan in this building at what was then the Odeon at Christmastime when I was very young (probably with my Dad, while Mum ran round the shops I imagine)
Sometimes Mums limited mobility can pose a bit of a problem but New Theatre appear to have it covered! We were able to park very close to the theatre and there was an accessible entrance with a lift to avoid the steps at the front of the building. There was a disabled seating area on the upper level and disabled toilet. We hadn’t been assigned seats there but it’s useful to know for the future. New Theatre, Peterborough also offers complimentary tickets to essential carers for disabled visitors
I was a bit worried when I saw that our seats were to the side. In some theatres your view can be somewhat restricted – sometimes by a huge amount.
For this performance we had been assigned seats P8 and P9 which come under the slightly less expensive price bracket. I would definitely choose these seats again.
They were roomy enough for my size 22 bottom and had loads of legroom. Mum was pleased that her seat on the aisle was angled in such a way that she felt well supported and could stretch out if need be. Our view of the stage was great with no restriction really at all.
At one point I did go to seat P1 to see what a seat with a restricted view would be like. I took a photo of the stage from P1 and as you can see, the restriction is really minimal.
I am really excited to see what’s next for New Theatre, Peterborough. It’s such an iconic building in our city and I cannot wait to make new memories here with my family.