AVENUE Q Director Darren Brierley Musical Director Alasdair Gordon Choreographer / movement Rachael O’Hara Bacup Royal Court Theatre Group There is nothing that really compares to this musical: it is unique heart-warming and hilarious. After puppetry master Jim Henson brought us “Sesame Street” and “The Muppets” in 2003 Jeff Marx and Bobby Lopez took the genre to another level. They turned theatre protocol on its head, included some non-pc content, and changed theatre for the better. With this presentation there was a very workable set designed by Paul Ashworth and built by the BRCTG Team. Nick Daye and Andy Holden’s lighting brought mood and drama to the lives of the inhabitants of Avenue Q. The sound balanced the music and dialogue making sure that the clever words and lyrics came across clearly. The cast was dressed in dark hues allowing the focus to be on the puppet characters. The direction and choreography / movement worked in harmony getting the most out of each scene. I only have one niggle, there were too many straight lines. The puppets were never overshadowed by the puppeteers which made this a winning factor of the production: all the puppets were so well characterised. Musically there was not a weak link, and all members of the cast were equal in performance, and the band was first class. The teamwork and support on stage was very much in evidence throughout both musically and dramatically. The rich, so well drawn characters were in safe hands, literally, the puppet holding cast was so full of energy. The individual characters connected with the audience while the whole ensemble changed from multiple characters with ease.