🎭 The Book of Mormon
📍 The Prince of Wales Theatre, Coventry Street, London, W1D 6AS
🗓 Monday 25th July 2022
I BELIEVE THIS IS A HEAVENLY SHOW!
From the opening number Hello! this hilarious musical had me hooked and I was a dedicated follower!
The show follows two young mormons, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, as they embark on their two year coming of age mission. The unlikely pairing was portrayed triumphantly by Dom Simpson as Price and Tom Xander as Cunningham. Their chemistry on stage was awesome and comic timing was perfect throughout. I especially enjoyed their interaction during You & Me (But Mostly Me).
The young mormons are sent to Uganda for their mission, which they quickly learn is nothing like The Lion King! They are given a shocking taste of reality as soon as they land and when they hear the locals singing Hasa Diga Eebowai (which translates into something I'm unable to write here!) the boys know the mission is not going to be a walk in the park.
In Uganda we meet local man Mafala Hatimbi played by Kirk Patterson (cover) and his daughter Nabulungi played beautifully by Leanne Robinson who become an integral part of the boys journey.
The duo then meet the rest of their mormon brothers who teach them to Turn It Off when they have unpleasant feelings in the most fabulously camp way possible!
Both of the characters have separate journeys during the show and have their own personal demons to fight throughout. Xander especially takes you in and you fall in love with his character time and time again.
Simpson and Xander work phenomenally as a pairing but also shine separately too. Simpson's performances of songs such as I Believe are fantastic and Xander's Man Up is a real show stopping moment. I Believe is a great song as it shows how blindly someone will follow a religion, even when the teachings and stories make no sense whatsoever!
This show, written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone has you laughing at things you think you probably shouldn't! You find yourself laughing at things such as aids, cancer, homosexual feelings and more but you never feel that the writing is in any way hateful.
I love how this musical deconstructs the religion and highlights cracks in the theories in an hilarious way. All-American Profit is a great example of this. I'm sure any followers of the mormon religion will not like this show! There are some brief flashbacks to the birth of the religion and we even get to see Jesus himself!
Robinson plays her character beautifully. She portrays feelings such as hope and betrayal so well and she has a lovely singing voice. Her performance of Sal Tlay Ka Siti, a calming alternative to the mainly high octane songs throughout, is beautifully sung and you sit up and listen to every word she sings.
She is also a great comedian and her performance of Baptize Me with Xander is hilarious. It's as if the two characters are losing their virginity rather than engaging in a baptism!
There were many exceptional performances from the entire cast throughout this show. If I had to pick someone, then I think Steven Webb as Elder McKinley was my favourite. He was fantastic throughout, had a great voice and, as with the rest of the company, had on point comic timing.
Even less favourable characters such as the General were funny and in a weird way likeable! He finds somewhere inventive to put the Book of Mormon! At this performance the General was portrayed by Sean Parkins (cover).
The whole ensemble are great and production songs such as Joseph Smith American Moses had the audience rolling in the aisles with laughter.
This show is definitely not for the feint hearted or the easily offended! It was probably the funniest thing I have ever seen in the West End and I will definitely be revisiting this musical time and time again. I'm just disappointed it's taken me so long to see it!
Expect lots of bad language, some inappropriate mentions of frogs, an appearance from Yoda and an amazing night out!
I have really tried with this review to limit the amount of spoilers as I think with this show the element of surprise is part of the experience.
The show is currently booking at London's Prince of Wales Theatre until 17th December 2022.
All views are my own & I pride myself on being honest & free from influence.