When Avenue Q arrived in the West End in 2006 it instantly became one of my favourite shows and remained that way through several return visits so seeing the touring version at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend is like a reunion with old friends. Unlike some touring shows (Spamalot) this is an exact replica of the Broadway / West End production and from the moment Princeton makes his entrance to his departure I sat there with a warm glow and a soppy grin. Most of the performances are West End standard and Julie Yammanee is possibly the best Christmas Eve I've yet seen. Unfortunately Katharine Moraz, despite a nice singing voice, lacks the comic personality of the incomparable Julie Atherton as Kate/Lucy and her puppet skills left a bit to be desired. Yet again Avenue Q proved to be the perfect show to lift the spirits and make me completely forget that I had booked on the same day as England v. Ukraine, but there was an element of sadness that this will probably be the last evening shared with Princeton, Kate et al. - David Baxter
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