WHAT: The Book of Mormon
WHERE: The Prince of Wales Theatre, London
WHEN: 7 October 2013
Hello! My name is Elder Price, and I would like to share with you this most amazing book …
So begins the Tony Award-winning comedy musical The Book of Mormon, which opened in the West End earlier this year … and was completely sold out for several months. As we were going down to London, we checked to see if we could get tickets, and there were luckily a few left.
The musical was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), and we’ve had the US soundtrack for a while now. The soundtrack is catchy, funny … but the musical is so much better. Really, it exceeded our expectations by a lot. What the soundtrack alone fails to put across (aside from all the other dialogue, obviously) are the facial expressions of the actors.
As for the story, we have the ambitious Elder Price (Gavin Creel), who wants to be sent to Orlando, Florida, for his mission. After being paired up with the lovably daft Elder Cunningham (I believe the part was played by Daniel Buckley on the night), the two get their mission: it’s not exactly Disneyland … it’s Uganda. The African village is terrorised by the General (Chris Jarman), suffering from AIDS and famine, poverty-stricken … and the Mormons already there have not exactly made any progress with converting the villagers, who have bigger worries than religion. Can the arrival of the two naive new Elders possibly shake things up?
Also starring Alexia Khadime as Nabulungi, Giles Terera as Mafala Hatimbi, Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley/Moroni, and Haydn Oakley as Price’s Dad/Joseph Smith/Mission President, et al.
First off, it’s from the creators of South Park, with one of the co-creators of Avenue Q, so let’s just say it’s not a show if you hate four-letter words. If you’re also very much into religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in particular, but that goes without saying), this really isn’t the show for you. If, on the other hand, you find religious satire funny, go for it. It’s an absolute hoot, and you’ll be in stitches. If you have listened to the soundtrack and didn’t see what all the fuss was about, trust me, the show is so much better than the soundtrack!
5 out of 5 name tags.