Avenue Q, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh ****
The Avenue Q of the title is a run-down street in outer urban New York, of the kind probably even more threatened by developers now than it was 15 years ago. It’s inhabitants include our hero Princeton, an unemployed English Literature graduate in search of a purpose in life, a black street superintendent who used to be child TV star Gary Coleman, a comely female monster called Kate, and some other lively flotsam and jetsam of urban life.
The irresistible appeal of the show, though, lies in its decision to reject naturalism, and caricature the despairs and indignities of millennial urban living through a series of terrific puppet figures, who play not all of the characters, but most of them. Add a playlist of 20 songs as wickedly witty as they are heartfelt, and a stunning performances from the show’s team of superb singer-puppeteers led by a brilliant Cecily Redman as Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut, and you have a truly beguiling show for our time, wise, kind, true, and joyfully funny, from start to finish.