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Avenue Q (Edinburgh)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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How much fun can you have with (fake) fur? Quite a lot actually. This smartly funny, quite rude and highly entertaining musical , on its second UK tour , is in great shape. As far as I remember the physical production is the same as it was in London so a ‘direct from the West End ‘ tag-line can be justified. Not always the case with some touring shows.

A very talented cast manipulate the hairy puppets with aplomb. There is fine work from Chris Thatcher, Matthew J Henry and Sam Lupton as, respectively, Nicky/Trekkie Monster, Gary and Princeton/Rod. And standout performances from Katharine Moraz as Kate/Lucy and Julie Yammanee as Christmas Eve.

Robert Lopez , Jeff Marx and Jeff Whitty have created a tuneful, witty and rather subversive show, which really draws you into the puppet world and is at times actually rather moving. The production ( Jason Moore’s direction recreated for the tour by Evan Ensign ) is fast-moving, slickly put together and endearing.

One cavil – it is a very small show in a very big theatre and I imagine that if you are too far away you will miss some of the nuances of the performances – puppets and humans. I understand why producers are seduced by the 3,300 seater Playhouse but on an artistic level Avenue Q would work even better for the audience in a more intimate playhouse like the Kings. Yes, I know it is closed for a long needed renovation but you get the point?

However this Avenue Q, wherever it is located, is splendid fun, expertly performed and an ideal winter blues banisher.

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