With the team behind South Park at the reins I knew this wasn’t going to be an ordinary musical. Needless to say I was not disappointed. The Book of Mormon is definitely a testament to the abilities of the writers to win nine Tony awards in 2011, an accolade that is well deserved! It is worth mentioning at this point, even though they have received such fantastic reviews you certainly need an open mind as some of the jokes are “close to the knuckle” in a few places using jokes about AIDS, racism and raping babies.
When we arrived at the theatre it seemed like a perfectly ordinary occasion until we went and collected a programme. They had toy frog in the merchandise Kiosk which caused a little confusion as we didn’t really understand what the relationship between a frog and the production was. This becomes quite clear as it becomes the punchline to a few jokes throughout the show.
The cast for the west-end are not the same as those who appeared in the Tony awards videos you can find online but I personally feel the cast they used for the west end production were better (The cast is the same as the American tour but not the Broadway shows). The Dynamics between Gavin Creel (Elder Price) and Jared Gertner (Elder Cunningham) made them a fantastic pairing, giving a very well-rounded performance with impressive vocals and larger than life acting.
The Book of Mormon Synopsis
The story centers around Elder Price and Elder Cunningham who have both reached the age of nineteen when they are trained by the Mormon church to go out and spread the word of God through their missionary work.
Elder Price is a cut above the rest, always aiming to be the best that he can be and hoping to go out into the world and wants to accomplish incredible achievements for the church. He is confident, devout and has strong ideas about the way the world should work.
Elder Cunningham on the other hand is dim-witted with an “overactive imagination” and generally quite a lonely character. Compared to Elder Price, Elder Cunningham is happy assist any way he can whilst his social skills are lacking his enthusiasm is not. Sometimes confusing the book of Mormon with content from popular Sci-Fi Franchises.
With this unusual pairing comes their assignment which unfortunately for Elder Price isn’t Orlando. Instead they are sent to an area of Uganda under a War Lord’s control which proves a test of faith in their attempt to bring the Mormon faith to the people of Africa. As the story Progresses, the Elders unlikely friendship begins to blossom bringing with it their journey about coming to terms with their own faith. It becomes less about the Mormon faith in particular (although there are a lot of references still to the faith which itself provided a strong base for a little light humour) and brings themes about faith in general and how people perceive it.
Remember, tomorrow is a Latter Day!
If The Book of Mormon hasn’t peaked your curiosity by now, listen to the track below for an idea of what you can expect from the show.