A rude puppet show in Peterborough... you’d be a muppet to miss it!

Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28
Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28

As Megan Armstrong says, if you like puppets being a bit rude, you can’t fail to have a good time watching Avenue Q, writes Phil Hewitt.

Avenue Q is on the road heading to Peterborough New Theatre (September 24028), with Megan playing Mrs T, Bad Idea Bear and 2nd Arm in a show which really is all about the ensemble.

Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28

Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28

Avenue Q comes promised as part flesh, part felt and packed with heart. It offers a laugh-out-loud musical that tells the story of a recent college graduate named Princeton who moves into a shabby New York apartment all the way out on Avenue Q. There, he meets Kate (the girl next door), Rod (the Republican), Trekkie (the internet sexpert), Lucy The Slut and other colourful types who help Princeton finally discover his true purpose in life!

Megan is thrilled to be part of a show which has meant a great deal to her down the years: “It is such a lovely show. When I was growing up, getting into musical theatre, everybody just loved singing all the tunes from it, but it is not just a show for people that love musical theatre. It is definitely a show for everyone. It is so funny and there is all the truth to it.

“The whole thing is that you are watching a group of friends and their story. It is set in New York and the lead character has just moved to the area and is looking for somewhere to rent. He has got a BA in English and doesn’t know what he is going to do with his life.

“He meets this group of people and rents an apartment in Avenue Q. We meet all these people.”

Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28

Avenue Q is at Peterborough New Theatre from September 24-28

The show famously mixes humans and puppets.

“The show started because the puppeteers on Sesame Street wanted to showcase their talents and their versatility. On Sesame Street, you don’t see that they are human, but in this show the puppeteers are visible. We are dressed in black, but we are not hidden away.

“I haven’t done puppets before. Our puppeteer coach prefers people that have not had much experience about puppetry. I guess it is because it is quite a unique way of using puppets that we have. You hold your right arm up at a right angle in front of you. It is different to how it would usually be done, and I guess the idea is that it is nice for us all to learn together and get a common movement language together.

“It is a brilliant skill, and as an actor it is really amazing to try to put something human into what is an inanimate object and to try to bring it to life. The audience watching start thinking that the puppets are shrugging or laughing.

“Our parents when they come to watch it aren’t happy because they end up watching the puppets and not us, but that is exactly what we want them to be doing. That’s the whole point!”

The show has been touring since January, and at the time of speaking Megan was just starting a week in Dublin, having had a week in Dunstable:“We finished in Dunstable on the Saturday night and then flew to Dublin on the Sunday and then started playing Dublin. So it can be pretty hard work touring around, especially when you are doing weekly touring.

“But I do enjoy it. Each week is different, and the audiences are completely different. But this show just attracts people that want a really great night out.

“You can’t help but have a really great night out with this show.”

Tickets at www.newtheatre-peterborough.com