Theatre aficionado, Sarah Forrester recently paid a visit to The Prince of Wales Theatre in London to see headline-hitting show, The Book of Mormon. Here’s what she made of it…
There is a great deal of hype surrounding the Book of Mormon at The Prince of Wales Theatre – and deservedly so! I don’t mind telling you that I was gutted when I thought I would not be able to see this show; I had heard bits and bobs about the subject matter and the language and decided it was not a show for me. However, I just could not resist booking tickets and I am so glad I did, and would go again and again! There is no getting away from the fact that this show pushes boundaries that have never been pushed before in theatre – the show touches on normally taboo subjects such as racism, female mutilation and worse, however taken in context it actually is showcasing the terrible plight of the African people and how a little blind faith could give them hope in their lives.
The basic story: Mormon missionaries (Elder Price & Elder Cunningham) are sent to Uganda to try and convert the poverty stricken locals to Mormonism where previous missionaries have failed. The locals are not interested in their teachings as they are suffering with Aids, poverty and lack of food and water and believe God is to blame. When one of the Mormons becomes despondent and decides to leave Uganda this leaves an inexperienced Mormon (who has never even read The Book of Mormon!) to make up a story to make them think they can cure their Aids and have happy lives. Incredibly this works and all the Africans want to be baptised. The villagers put on a show for the Mormon leaders using the information they have been given and believe to be true – what transpires is hilarious so I will not spoil it for you!
Book of Mormon has a wonderfully talented cast, with extremely clever and hilarious lyrics written by the creators of SouthPark. The songs are catchy and entertaining, my personal favourite being “Turn it Off” about a Mormon struggling with feelings of homosexuality (mostly performed by the amazing Stephen Ashfield who won an Olivier Award for his performance as Bob Gaudio in Jersey Boys). Special mention has to go to Gavin Creel (Elder Price), and Jared Gertner (Elder Cunningham) – their faultless performances and onstage rapport really shines. Another stand out performance comes from Alexia Khadime who plays Nabulungi – she is really sweet and has a beautiful singing voice. Her song Baptise Me allows her to show off the amazing comic timing between her and Gertner. The energy of the entire cast is absolutely boundless – the majority of the audience were in hysterics throughout (in fact my face got cramp!!). There can be no doubt that this is clearly the most politically incorrect show I have ever seen, but it is so brilliant ,witty and well performed that all, except the young and extremely sensitive should rush to get tickets!
Have you got your tickets to see the show yet?