Alexia Khadime and Brian Sears
Nic Rouleau and Chris Jarman
Billy Sears, Nic Rouleau and Lucy St Louis
The 'South Park' creators' musical doesn't quite live up to the epic hype, but is still the funniest show in town.
Nic Rouleau and Brian Sears are the current Elders Price and Cunningham
Brace yourself for a shock: ‘South Park’ creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Broadway-munching musical is not particularly shocking. Sure, there are ‘fucks’ and ‘cunts’ and gags about baby rape – but beneath it all, this is a big-hearted affair that pays note-perfect homage to the spirit of Broadway’s golden age as much as the sounds.
The strapping young Latter Day Saints missionaries in ‘The Book of Mormon’ are as cartoonish as any ‘South Park’ character, with the endearing alpha-male woodenness of the ‘Team America’ puppets. In other words, they are loveable, well-intentioned idiots, traversing the globe like groups of pious meerkats, convinced they can convert the heathen through sheer politeness. And if they have doubts, then as Stephen Ashfield’s scene-stealingly repressed Elder McKinley declares in glorious faux-Gershwin number ‘Turn it Off’, ‘Don’t feel those feelings – hold them in instead!’
His advice is ignored by the show’s heroes, narcissistic, highly strung Elder Price (Gavin Creel) and dumpy, lying Elder Cunningham (Jared Gertner). The pair are sent to Uganda in an effort to convert a village to Mormonism, a religion that essentially tells the penniless villagers how great distant America is. The locals are not keen: Price cracks and unwisely clashes with a crazed local warlord; Cunningham makes up his own version of Mormonism which involves fucking frogs to cure oneself of Aids.
‘The Book of Mormon’ is, above all, very funny, breathing three-dimensional, all-singing, all-dancing life into the absurdities of literal Mormon dogma without ever being mean. It’s the mildest thing Parker and Stone have done, atheist in outlook but conciliatory towards anyone whose beliefs make them happy. If they and co-creator Robert ‘Avenue Q’ Lopez are angry about anything, it’s ‘The Lion King’: ‘Mormon’ neatly sidesteps accusations of racism by making its Uganda a scathing and explicit parody of that musical blockbuster’s misty-eyed romanticism.
From Casey Nicholaw’s kitsch choreography to the sheer detail of a book that hops with elan from Biblical Egypt to eighteenth-century America to a sort of vaginal version of hell, this is a tremendous show, as accomplished as it is funny. It also has as hard-working, well-drilled and odd-looking an ensemble as you’ll see on the West End.
And yet, after the biblical deluge of hype, for me ‘Mormon’ is only the best West End musical since the stronger ‘Matilda’. It offers a series of great-to-sublime songs and set pieces, but for all the laughs, as a whole it lacks the satiric purpose and angry animating spark of its creators’ other work.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone are not West End messiahs. But they are very naughty boys, and it’s hard not to love their smash musical.
|Venue name:||Prince of Wales Theatre||Contact:|
|Transport:||Tube: Leicester Sq|
|Price:||£37.50-£95. Runs 2hrs 30mins|
|Event phone:||0844 544 3830|
Average User Rating
4.5 / 5
- 5 star:114
- 4 star:24
- 3 star:9
- 2 star:6
- 1 star:4
It says something about their reputations going before them, but I was actually expecting this to be more extreme. It's hardly take-your-gran material though and still incredibly unique on the west end stage.
I would have liked to have seen more from the supporting Mormons too, they were brilliant, so I was disappointed they were under-used.
But as an intelligent spectacle on a grand scale, it's a pretty magnificent beast.
Ah Book of Mormon...It took me such a long time to see you, and my expectations were so high. And yep, they were pretty much met! The first act is, as is often the way, the most hilarious and engaging. I laughed so hard at at least two of the songs. Though I must admit, there were often moments when I genuinely cringed, and thought maybe they were going a little too far. Certain topics (if you see it, you'll know what I mean) that are in bad taste, rather than being ironically funny. My aunt and uncle asked me if they should see it, and I said no: The type of humour is really only suitable for those with dark sides! But if you enjoy that kind of humour, definitely see it - it can be very, very funny.
was just the best. Only problem that it felt too short which is a good
sign. The quing went smooth and quick even though they seemed very long.
We got quick answers to our questions, many helpful people around. The
break was a bit short too. This made my day, week, life! I just couldn't
stop smiling and signing afterwards. I am addicted to the songs now...
Hilariously fun and entertaining, but certainly not for prudes or those easily offended. I laughed so much that my facial muscles ached. I had expected 'South Park' with singing, but it was so much more.Don't miss it.
I wasn't quite sure what to expect, and given I took my whole family for their Christmas presents (aged from 26 - 67) I was a little nervous as to how it would be received. Everyone loved it...said they would go again!!
Really funny in places, particularly references to how bonkers the Mormon religion is but we didn't enjoy it as much as we were expecting given the hype there has been around it. Pretty racist / patronising in places - not sure FGM, AIDS and baby rape is funny? - and we feel it could have worked just as well set anywhere else in the world. Worth a look though! Most other people seemed to be enjoying it greatly!
Amazing show! Laughing and smiling throughout. Amazing actors, amazing songs amazing acting. Loved every bit of it
The Book of Mormon is absolutely hilarious! I loved every minute of it and would easily go and see it again. (Don’t go if you’re easily offended though!) The actors were great and the plot itself was exactly what you would expect from the creators of South Park. Go and see it now!
I have been wanting to see Book of Mormon for years, so my expectations were quite high. It honestly far exceeded my expectations and is one of my favourite musicals I have ever seen. I was laughing almost the entire time and had a smile on my face from the opening act. It's fun, hilariously funny, and really a must see!
It's funny, but certainly doesn't live uo to the hype. I love simple humour, but this is more like basic humour. If value for money was to be taken into account, it'd get 2 stars from me (i.e don't go).
Offensive, hilarious, outrageous, camp, shocking, brilliant, distasteful, genius.
Get a ticket as soon as you can and see this show.
The first act was well written and executed providing good amusement & entertainment. It is a shame that this then deteriorated as the musical resorted to cheap jokes and vulgar comments too sexual, visual and repetitive in nature. Such a shame.....it could have been so much better....I do hope this is not a trend for the west end to follow.....
Really enjoyed it. Took my other half who's a big Southpark fan and he's not stopped singing the songs since we got back. Definitely a specific type of dark humour - if you're not a southpark fan, then not sure you'd find it funny. We thought it was absolutely brilliant. Adored the mormons and their fabulous numbers in particular.
I have to say, as someone who isn't a big SouthPark fan, I was dubious about seeing this musical. However, I was intrigued as to what the hype was about and I wasn't disappointed. It was by far, the funniest thing I have seen West End or otherwise, in a very long time. It's not immature humour, it's extremely intelligent and any theatre lover would appreciate how clever the storyline, soundtrack and set have been used. Definitely worth a visit & thanks Time Out for making it happen!
Bloody brilliant. Funny, filthy, toe-tappingly great. Took my 15-year-old who thought it was EPIC. Theatre was packed, everyone seemed to be having a great time including immaculately dressed pensioners. Bit disappointed no one walked out in rage, but can't blame them. I'd have gladly watched another two hours.
Laughed all the way through. Even if you're not au fait with the work of Matt Stone and Trey Parker (and you're not offended by any crude/dark humour) this is a fantastic show. A bit more mainstream friendly compared to what the duo have produced in the past as it's not as extreme as previous episodes of South Park, but still funny.
We went with a slight nervousness as to how cringey and/or offensive it might be, and there were moments that fulfilled these expectations! However, they were all totally appropriate within this hilarious and intelligent parody on religious moralising and hypocrisy. We would thoroughly recommend it...but for those who are not easily offended. Great show!
I absolutely loved it. It surpassed my expectations. I'm from the US and lived in a couple areas where there were a lot of Mormons so this resonated with me a lot. I'm a huge South Park and Trey Parker and Matt Stone fan so I was thrilled to finally be able to seeing. I highly recommend it for those not easily offended!
This is the second time I've seen it! I even took my Mum this time who loved it. It's irreverent, funny, often close to the bone all weaved together with an excellent soundtrack and slick direction .
My only disappointment last night was I felt the music vocal mix was wrong in the first half . This made it difficult to hear the words sometimes which is paramount in this show. They had fixed it by the second half but I'd love to know if the theatre realized there was a problem
Go see it though !its a musical for musical haters !!
This is very funny indeed. Met every one of my sky-high expectations and I left smiling like an idiot. But tired - it's tough laughing that much.
Maybe I went to this with too much expectancy but I have to say that it certainly didn't deliver what I thought it would. The story line was OK but it was all a bit too predictable. The second half of the show was better than the first but the whole experience was overshadowed by the fact that it was soooo hot in the theatre. I'd say it's worth a look if you can get some discounted tickets but remember to just wear shorts and a vest and carry a large bottle of something rehydrating with you!
What's not to like providing you like the controversial, no holds barred humour of Southpark, Team America and the likes then you'll love this show. Full of laugh out loud moments it's also a satirical commentary on the role of religion and the contrasting fortunes of the rich west and not so rich African nations.
whether you are fan of South Park or not, as long as you have an open sense of humour- you are gonna absolutely LOVE the Book of Mormon. Booked for me and my other half to watch and we were in tears from laughing throughout the show. It definitely exceeded my expectations and all the hype I heard about it. I would definitely watch it again.