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Saturday, 9 August 2014

REVIEW: Avenue Q, on tour around the UK

With hugely successful runs on both sides of the Atlantic, Avenue Q has once again hit the road and is currently touring throughout the UK and Ireland, providing audiences with laugh out loud fun. The Tony award winning show follows the lives of the residents of Avenue Q, a rundown New York suburb populated by an eclectic mix of puppets, people  and monsters. From Brian the unemployed human comedian to Trekkie Monster (who can only be described as Animal from the Muppets with a serious porn addiction). Avenue Q is populated by a collection of  wonderfully unique and humorous characters.  

The shows small cast of just eleven actors do a terrific job bringing the larger than life characters to the stage.  It is clear that the puppetry was given a lot of attention and this attention paid off because watching the puppets it's easy to believe they are real life characters and not just puppets. Some of the more subtle movements of the puppets definitely help to give the puppets a realistic feel as they effectively mimic the movements we make every day. However, Avenue Q isn't exclusively inhabited by puppets, theres also Brian, Christmas Eve and Gary. The way in which the actors who play the streets humans interact with the puppets again adds to the believability of the puppets  giving them a life like quality. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Show Boat at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin | Review

Based on Edna Ferber's novel the musical Showboat follows the lives of the musicians, performers and workers aboard the Cotton Blossom, a showboat sailing down the Mississippi River in the late 1880's. With music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II Show boat is a love story set over a forty year period dealing with the difficult themes of racism, inequality and racial segregation. 

The show mainly follows the lives of two couples, the first being Julie LaVerne, the leading lady aboard the Cotton Blossom and her husband Steve. When it is revealed that Julie is mixed-race she and Steve are forced to leave the Cotton Blossom as their marriage is illegal. The second couple are Magnolia, daughter of the ship's captain who is needed to replace Julie as the ships leading lady and Gaylord Ravenal, a suave gamble who takes over as the ships leading man. The couple fall in love and are soon married but Gaylord's gambling leads to difficult and trouble times for the couple.

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