Puppets will string you along to Milton Keynes

Kate Monster in Avenue Q
Kate Monster in Avenue Q

Andy Pandy, Sooty and Sweep, Pinocchio, Punch and Judy....puppets have long enthralled youngsters.

And in more recent time Zig and Zag used to shake up the Big Breakfast house, of course.

But if you thought they were cheeky, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

From Monday, Milton Keynes Theatre will welcome the cheekiest puppet players around, when the award-winning comedy musical makes a well overdue return.

If you’ve been before, you’ll want to return for another session in the company of Princeton, the bright-eyed graduate who arrives in New York City with big dreams and a tiny bank account.

The only neighbourhood in his price range is Avenue Q, and he finds himself moving in with a quirky array of folks – Brian, the out-of-work comedian and his therapist fiancee Christmas Eve, Nicky the good-hearted slacker and his closet gay Republican roommate Rod, an internet ‘Sexpert’ called Trekkie Monster and a very cute kindergarten teacher called Kate Monster.

Song-wise, expect to chortle along to fabulously funny numbers including The Internet is for Porn and Everyone’s A Little Bit Racist.

It’s not the sort of show to take your Great Aunt Hilda to - well, unless she is akin to Joan Rivers, maybe - and it’s definitely not for the ankle-biters.

But Avenue Q proves that puppets aren’t just for tiny folks – they most certainly are for grown-ups too.

But who is the cheekiest of them all?
“Oh, the Bad Bears are by far the cheekiest,” Kate Monster told me.

“They are the cutest little bears you’ve ever seen, but they like to convince you that it’s a good idea to do some bad things, like playing drinking games on a work night, oversleeping the next day and getting fired.

“But I still love them!”

In ‘playing’ Kate, puppeteer Sarah Harlington has found her ideal job: “Playing Kate Monster and Lucy has always been a dream job of mine,” she said.

“It’s such a demanding part both physically and vocally, but I enjoy the challengeand it’s an absolute gift as a performer to play the goodie andbaddie...when people apologise for having not watched me and only focused on the puppet I take that as a huge compliment.”

Performances begin on Monday and run through to Saturday May 21, with performances at different times.

Pick up the phone and book now on 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes.