DON'T MISS: Avenue Q at Bridgwater Arts Centre

PINSTRIPE Productions’ actors-turned-puppet masters Josh Fischer, Philip Cox and Edward Creswick in rehearsals.

PINSTRIPE Productions’ actors-turned-puppet masters Josh Fischer, Philip Cox and Edward Creswick in rehearsals.

First published in Sport

PUPPET-PACKED production Avenue Q is now open for its colourful run at Bridgwater Arts Centre.

Pinstripe Productions’ all-singing, all-dancing ‘fur fest’, which has won three Tony Awards, tells the story of struggling college graduate Princeton as the real world of New York hits him right between the eyes.

The inevitable parallel with Sesame Street has been drawn but this show does not shy away from its adult themes, which span sex and relationships, to living on the breadline – it has a parental advisory rating of 12.

Edward Creswick and Philip Cox, who work at Bridgwater estate agent CJ Hole, are Princeton and Nikky, two of the show’s leading characters. CJ Hole is also sponsoring the show.

Philip, who plays the loveable but lazy room-mate, Nikky, said: “It’s really good fun and ever so funny. We’re still laughing at the script now – some of it is very close to the knuckle.

“We’re all seasoned professionals in this area, but we’ve never worked with puppets before, so we have to do the lips, the arms, the facial expressions, anything the puppets can’t do.

“They can’t do frowns or smiles, so you have to do that as an actor, so people then look at you and the puppet as one.”

The show has had a tight turnaround, which may be a surprise given the West End show’s prestige.

Philip said: “It has only taken 11 weeks to come together. We had a guy come in from the West End to give us training one weekend.

“He was in the original production in London and he showed us how to work the puppets properly.”

Philip is aided by Josh Fischer, who plays his ‘right arm’, as well as ‘imaginary bears’. He said: “They stand for the imaginary demons in your head.”

Avenue Q runs until Saturday – tickets priced £12 (£10 Saturday matinee) can be bought online at www.bridgwaterartscentre.co.uk or from the box office on 01278-422700.

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