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Avenue Q comes to Brookside Theatre in Romford

Furry fun with an adult edge at the Brookside Theatre Furry fun with an adult edge at the Brookside Theatre

Monday, April 7, 2014
2:25 PM

Dubbed the ‘musical of the decade’ by the Sunday Times, Avenue Q is coming to Romford’s Brookside theatre next week.

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The show is somewhere between South Park and The Muppets and is an all-singing, all-dancing romp through the trials and tribulations of the lovable yet ultimately hopeless characters trying to make their way in the world on a fictional avenue in downtown New York.

The play, conceived by American songwriter Robert Lopez and his compatriot composer Jeff Marx is a coming of age parable that addresses the issues and anxieties of entering adulthood through the mediums of puppetry, dance and song.

The style of the piece is largely inspired by Sesame Street and is a blunt but funny look at life once we leave the friendly bubble of childhood.

Avenue Q has won critical acclaim with New York Times theatre critic Ben Brantley calling it a “savvy, sassy, eminently likeable breakthrough musical”.

As well as a positive critical reception the play has won several Tony Awards including best musical, best book of a musical and best original score.

Lewis Asquith, 21, from Weymouth, currently in his third year of training at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in Greenwich plays the roles of two different puppets, Princeton and Rod.

Princeton is a young fresh faced guy straight out of university coming to the realisation that his BA in English isn’t as useful as he’d hoped it would be as he ends up on Avenue Q.

Rod is a closeted gay investment banker trying to deal with the fact that he is secretly in love with his best friend and housemate Nicky.

Lewis is enjoying the opportunity to play two quite different roles, he said: “As an actor it is so much fun to play two completely contrasting roles within one show. The writing is hilarious and the songs are great to sing, especially in the puppet voices.

“Although it has been the most challenging production I’ve been a part of. We have had to train as puppeteers on top of everything else that you would normally have to worry about within your average musical. You wouldn’t believe how hard they are to operate but it’s so rewarding watching them come to life!”

Mr Asquith has been impressed by the Brookside theatre, saying “The Brookside is an incredible asset to the local community of Romford. The team of volunteers headed by Jai and Harri Sepple work so hard to put on new and exciting productions and the intimate theatre space lends itself really well to a production of this nature in which the audiences can really feel involved with the show.”

Avenue Q has a reputation for pushing boundaries and being a little risqué whilst also being upbeat about life and this production is no different, Lewis said: “It is a very cheeky show! It’s a hilarious spin on real life covering adult themes and current taboo topics that other shows don’t dare to. The sentiment behind it remains very real and heartfelt though. As an audience member you definitely come away with a smile on your face feeling better about life.”

When asked why people should come to see Avenue Q in Romford Lewis said: “It’s a chance to see one of the funniest, and definitely the furriest, shows around on your doorstep and at a great price.”

The show runs at the Brookside Theatre, 21a Eastern Road, Romford, from Thursday April 17 to Saturday April 19

and Thursday April 24 to Saturday April 26 at 8pm with 2pm matinee shows on the Saturdays.

Tickets can be purchased either by calling 01708 755 775 or visiting brooksidetheatre.com and are priced at £13 with concessions available.

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