On a very sunny and hot 20th July 2016 I was treated as part of a birthday present to see the Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales theatre. Having waited for such a long time to see this production I was extremely excited to see it. There is a lot of hype that comes with this show and I can see why audience members often struggle to get tickets for this – however it’s definitely worth every penny. We were sat in the second row of the dress circle and had a fantastic view – especially as much of the direction of the show is aimed at the dress circle.
The Book of Mormon was written by the same team that brought us South Park, therefore it is not for the faint hearted or those that may be easily offended by bad language and bad taste jokes! The story centres around two Mormon missionaries, Elder Cunningham and Elder Young who are sent to Uganda to get people to join the church and to spread the word about the work they do. Unfortunately the village that they visit is controlled by a nasty and violent General Buttf***ingNaked who continues to try and control the villagers. Elder Cunningham however wins the heart of many of the natives, perhaps with a few white lies along the way!
From the opening number I laughed my way through the entire show! Whilst it does poke a lot of humour at many sensitive topics, this also makes it successful in that no other show I have seen is like this. At times when a show attempts to bring an underlying message to the audience, the acting and songs do tend to suffer – however everything about this production works extremely well. The set was amazing and there was so much to see from one scene to the next. The show also benefits from the extremely clever use of lighting throughout the show as well as the talented cast who take on a number of roles throughout. I looked around the audience to see what their reaction was at several moments during the show and all I saw were happy faces with many people belly laughing – a sure sign of enjoyment and that this show is amazing!
The cast for this show are absolutely brilliant. KJ Hippensteel as Elder Price and Brian Sears as Elder Cunningham were expertly put together and the two very contrasting characters work extremely well together. The comedic charm of Brian throughout the show was epic – I’ve never seen anyone like him and at times it was hard to keep up with him! Stephen Ashfield who plays Elder McKinley/Moroni is again a part that has been cast extremely well and I am so pleased to hear that he is now joining the The Book of Mormon on Broadway!
This show entertained me throughout but also came with several hidden messages about how we treat people. I walked out the theatre humming many of the songs and buzzing about how fantastic this show really was – it was definitely worth the wait and if you haven’t seen it already, book tickets NOW!
For those that wish to see the show, you can book tickets or alternatively enter the Book of Mormon lottery. They also have an amazing merchandise shop!
Good luck and enjoy this tremendous show!