London's Avenue Q to Transfer to Shaftesbury Avenue's Gielgud Theatre

News   London's Avenue Q to Transfer to Shaftesbury Avenue's Gielgud Theatre The West End production of Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez and Jeff Whitty's Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Avenue Q, which was to have shuttered at the Noel Coward Theatre on March 28, isn't closing after all.
Daniel Boys with Princeton
Daniel Boys with Princeton Photo by Tristram Kenton

The production will merely go on hiatus, prior to re-opening at Shaftesbury Avenue's Gielgud Theatre, where it will resume performances June 1, following the current production of Alan Bennett's Enjoy, which ends its extended run May 16.

According to a press statement, "When it was announced last October that Avenue Q would finish its long run at the Noël Coward, it was not a decision taken lightly by its producers. In its third successful year and as it celebrated 1,000 performances in the West End, Avenue Q was still attracting packed houses. But the producers decided that it may be the right time to bring the show to a natural end — and go out on a high note. However, since the closure was announced, Avenue Q has proven to be the perfect musical for our troubled times by going from strength to strength during the credit crunch. The combination of accessible prices and a hilarious night out is proving to be the perfect recipe for audiences hungry for escapism from terrible financial headlines. Over the last 4 months, Avenue Q has seen its best box office sales yet and the highest weekly grosses since the production opened in June 2006."

London co-producer Cameron Mackintosh, who has partnered with original New York producers Kevin McCollum, Robyn Goodman, Jeffrey Seller, Vineyard Theatre and The New Group to bring it to London, said, "When I first saw Avenue Q in New York over five years ago, I found it a very funny, fresh and clever look at the trials and tribulations of young people finding their way in life, with splendidly witty swipes at contemporary hang-ups. So I was rather surprised when the show opened in 2006 that the British national critics mostly didn't get it and predicted that it would only last three months. Three years later Q is going stronger than ever, so much so that ever since I announced the last six months at the Coward to allow Calendar Girls to be booked into the theatre, business has surged to such an extent that I'm delighted to announce that Avenue Q is going to continue its run on the Avenue – Shaftesbury that is – at the start of June. The puppets have put their hands up the cast and demanded a few weeks holiday so, while they enjoy that, Alan Bennett's Enjoy will finish up its hugely successful extended run at the Gielgud Theatre."

The current cast and puppets will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre. The cast currently comprises Joanna Ampil, Julie Atherton, Edward Baruwa, Daniel Boys, Taofique Folarin, Christopher Fry, Mark Goldthorp, Simon Gorton, Rachel Jerram, Maria Lawson, Candy Ma, Maria Omakinwa and Tom Parsons.

To book tickets for Avenue Q at the Coward Theatre to March 28 or at the Gielgud from June 1, contact the box office at 0844 482 5141 or visit www.avenueqthemusical.co.uk.

The London cast of <i>Avenue Q</i>
The London cast of Avenue Q Photo by Tristram Kenton