Avenue Q has extended its run at the Noel Coward Theatre to 27 January 2007, where it was previously booking to 30 September 2006. The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, the first production in Cameron Mackintosh’s refurbished and renamed theatre (formerly the Albery), opened on 28 June 2006 following previews from 1 June 2006. (See News, 17 Feb 2006).

Billed as an adult version of Seasame Street, Avenue Q began its life at Off-Broadway’s Vineyard Theatre before transferring in July 2003 to Broadway’s Golden Theatre, where it went on to win three 2004 Tony Awards including Best Musical. A cast of seven – three of them playing humans, the rest manipulating multiple puppets that include a closet gay puppet called Rod, a porn-addicted puppet called Trekkie Monster, and a puppet looking for love called Kate Monster – tell the characters’ tales of love and hardship on the downtown street.

With a score by Broadway neophytes Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, and a book by Jeff Whitty, songs include \"Everyone\'s a Little Bit Racist\", \"The Internet Is for Porn\" and \"You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You\'re Makin\' Love)\". It’s directed by Jason Moore.

The cast includes Whatsonstage.com Award nominee Giles Terera (Jailhouse Rock, The Rat Pack) as Gary Coleman, Julie Atherton (Notes from New York) as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut, Jon Robyns (as Princeton/Rod), Simon Lipkin (Nicky/Trekkie Monster), Clare Foster (Mrs T), Ann Harada (Christmas Eve) and Sion Lloyd (Brian) as well as Luke Evans, Matthew J Henry, Gloria Onitiri, Jacqui Sanchez, Gabriel Vick and Yanle Zhong.

Avenue Q has puppets conceived and designed by Rick Lyon, musical supervision by Stephen Oremus, and choreography by Ken Roberson. Scenic design is by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Acme Sound Partners. The musical is produced in the West End by Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre, the New Group and Cameron Mackintosh.

- by Caroline Ansdell