The Book of Mormon

  • Theatre
  • West End
Critics' choice
9 Love It
1/8
© Johan Persson
2/8
© Johan Persson

Alexia Khadime and Brian Sears

3/8
© Johan Persson

Nic Rouleau and Chris Jarman

4/8
© Johan Persson

Billy Sears, Nic Rouleau and Lucy St Louis

5/8
© Johan Persson
6/8
© Johan Persson
7/8
© Johan Persson
8/8
© Johan Persson
Prince of Wales Theatre, Piccadilly Circus Until Saturday December 12 2015
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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:
Address: Coventry St

W1D 6AS
Transport: Tube: Leicester Sq
Price: £37.50-£95. Runs 2hrs 30mins
Event phone: 0844 544 3830

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:78
  • 4 star:16
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:3
LiveReviews|105
1 person listening
Hammertime
2 of 2 found helpful

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.

Natasha Bibi
2 of 2 found helpful

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.

Luisa G
Tastemaker

Ive seen this twice, and I've just booked tickets to go again next month. It is so so funny, they've got everything about it spot on. I would watch this every week if I could.

Adam G
Tastemaker

As a huge fan of 'South Park' and 'Team America: World Police', and after hearing the huge amount of hype around the Musical, I was expecting big things from 'The Book Of Mormon. I am over the moon to tell you it completely met (Maybe even exceeded!) my expectations.


From the very beginning it had me laughing out loud. I was very impressed with how Matt Stone and Trey Parker, as well as the cast, managed to carry the over-the-top satire of 'South Park' and "Team America' to the stage.

The songs were hilarious, fans of the creators will not be surprised, but they were also very clever, with real issues being highlighted behind all the slapstick-satire.


It has to be said that this is not for the easily offended. I did see a couple of people walk out after no doubt finding some of the songs too much to cope with. Matt Stone and Trey Parker are known for their no-holds-barred take on comedy, to them every world issue is theirs to make a mockery of, and believe me, they will! However, if you are like me and don't take anything in life too seriously, I seriously recommend going to see 'The Book of Mormon', one of the best musicals I have seen to date.




Ed. T
Tastemaker

I'd heard extreme amounts of hype from family members and friends, as well as snippets of some of the songs - so I tried to approach the show with a degree of carefulness, wary about letting it get too hyped up. But it absolutely delivered. 


Absolutely the best musical I have seen in London, and one of the funniest afternoons of my life. I did at one point, literally fall out of my (rather tight) seat! We bought some of the cheapest tickets available but they offered a great view nonetheless, and we saw all of the action and dances.


At one point I thought that the show had gone slightly too far in its humour and was pretty poor taste. It does however, set itself up for a brilliant joke near the end that in my opinion, justifies it! Still, probably not one to bring any more reserved members of the family too. But everyone else? a MUST see show!

Sohère R
Tastemaker

Hysterically funny, I've ended up seeing it twice this year and I don't see anything twice normally! The cast are superb, the characters well crafted. Not really the sort of show to see with your mum (unless your mum is very open minded!) or if you are easily offended or don't like swearing......the songs are very catchy, the jokes risqué, but if you have a good sense of humour and an open mind and aren't easily offended you'll love it - as I did!

Babs - Working Girl London
Tastemaker

This is one of those plays that everyone says you 'have to see' - a lot of the time, these things get over hyped but I have to say that Book of Mormon is not one of them. 


I have never laughed so much in a theatre. It is outrageous, hilarious and the songs are actually pretty catchy. 


If you get uncomfortable easily, then you might want to stay away. Unsurprisingly, no religious group, race or sexuality is spared in the relentless fun-making - it's not just the Mormons! My favourite part was exiting the theatre to see a group of (real life) Mormons who had set up a stall for anyone interested in finding out more...I told them they might want to watch the play before deciding that was a good idea ;)

anaelle
Tastemaker

I only got there because of the hype. Expected to be disappointed, but oh boy was I wrong.

Got out of the theatre so happy. This show made my day.

Packed with sass, this show draws on Monty Pythonesque, controversial, sharp insights to make you laugh out loud. You come out very amused, a little more clever, and with another outlook on some life’s little moments.

Would watch it again if I win the £20 ticket lottery :)

Jenni D
Tastemaker

If you've got a filthy sense of humor, a love of musicals and a free evening you HAVE to go and see the Book of Mormon.


Hilarious from start to finish (and not just "hilarious", but "carry tissues to wipe your smudged mascara from laughter caused tears" kind of hilarious) with brilliant songs to boot. It doesn't mater if you're a South Park fan or not - it is true Broadway genius in it's own right. 

And, to make the evening truly perfect, it's being played in one of the most beautiful theatres in town. It's deco lobby and bar are worth a visit regardless of what's playing so make sure you get there early for a drink and a wander. 

Scott
Staff Writer

One of the funniest things I have ever seen on stage or screen.


At one point, I almost fell out of my seat laughing. If you're a fan of South Park, you'll totally get everything in this and you'll be in hysterics throughout.


The actors were brilliant and all the songs are hilarious too. If you haven't seen it, buy a ticket now.

Danny H

This lived up to the hype, as far as I am concerned. Entertaining, fast-paced and laugh-a -minute, this show had me hooked from the get go. As others have said, you might not want to watch it with your in-laws or your grandparents sat next to you, but it's generally gentle fun, rather than "WTF did he just say" (one or two exceptions).


The film is satirical brilliance throughout, and actually sheds light on Joseph Smith and his now infamous gold plates. Deserves all the accolades it gets, a wonderful, wonderful performance!

Paul C
Staff Writer

Not one for the feint of heart but the Book of Mormon is brilliant in its' ridiculousness. There's everything you'd expect from the creators of South Park and if you're not into that sort of thing then I wouldn't advise going. The music is on point and will leave you listening to the soundtrack for weeks...


The theatre is also very good - we were on the back row, right in the corner but still had a perfect view. 

Katie D
Staff Writer

I absolutely loathed this silly show. I don't like musicals- so I shouldn't have gone, but I thought it would be less jazz handsy than the usual Jersey Boys style show. It isn't. IT's MORE jazz handsy - even if this is meant ironically, with over the top camp routines to take a swipe at the Mormons, it's still irksome. People were laughing their heads off all around me, so I'm sure if you like this sort of thing, you'll love it. But I wanted to leave at the interval after one too many drama school types sassed around on stage to a stupid number with none of the acerbic wit of South Park. As I said though - I don't like musicals, so it's not their fault I couldn't get on board with it. Just don't go thinking it'll be like Team America or SOuth Park - it's more like Wicked. Or what I imagine Wicked would be, if wild horses managed to drag me in there WHICH THEY WON'T!!!


Rosie A
TastemakerModeratorStaff Comp

I'm not surprised the average review on TO is 5 stars, because this is a 5 star production. Funny, quick, and a sure fire hit even for those of us that hate musicals (Ok, I don't, I love them, but I pretend I hate them). It's rude, it's sweary, it's definitely for adults. Don't take super timid grandparents, but do take anyone you know that likes the kind of humour that feels borderline too far. I loved it. Everyone I know that has seen it has loved it. Go go go go! It sells out almost every single night, and has done since the start. Be sure to pre book your tickets, and it's definitely more fun in a group. Gather a posse together and be ready to laugh your head off. 

Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

Incredibly clever, incredibly funny, incredibly well put together. Absolutely love this show and cannot recommend it enough. Though offensive, it manages to walk a fine line between harrowing and hilariously lighthearted. 


Would help if you have some idea of the Mormon religion as my friends who knew nothing going in thought it was all part of the joke.


Just beware that you'll be singing about religion for weeks after.

bowertron

The best show in the West End by far. Laugh out loud funniness that leaves you wanting more. Listen carefully for the sounds of other big musicals which are littered throughout the score. wickedly naughty and likely to offend. Brilliant stuff

alexanderai

As people before have written: definitely such a big build up prior to seeing this show and a big price. 

Ive seen plenty of musicals and this was definitely as enjoyable as the rest - lots of laughter and great singing. The songs are definitely a bit less memorable and its missing that little bit of heart that comes with most of the West End, but it makes up for it by covering some important topics with great wit, gusto from the cast and some very memorable lines! I think the African cast far outshone the American mormons!

NP
Staff Writer

A top-notch cast, especially charismatic, Olivier award-winning lead Gavin Creel, and comic sidekick Jared Gertner, keep the energy high throughout a show that's frequently so funny you'll have trouble breathing. Good luck getting the camp songs out of your head afterwards – a couple are permanent ear worms. Sublimely ridiculous.

Graham M

Saw it for the 2nd time. Loved it just as much. Great music great lyrics and just really funny

Joanna H

A fantastic show that delights and shocks at the same time. So funny and so well put together. I've never seen an audience so wild with enthusiasm!

Ralph W

I loved every minute of it.  It might not appeal to the MASSES, who of course think they are owed, for the ticket price, and yes the other MORMONS had their say too, does supporting cast mean anything?

A definite must see for Non PC people Hasa Diga Eebowai ring any bells?

Connie

If you're sensible you better not see this play, but if you like raw humor, this is for you. For me it was laugh after laugh. The script is witty, the song are engaging, the actors are incredible! Is all that you can expect from the West End, and then some.

Charly Lester
Staff Writer

Hilarious! Funniest show I've ever seen - lived up to all expectations.  Packed full of laugh out loud moments, the friend I saw the show with has been back twice since already.  

The humour is cringey and sex-based, so don't take your parents, unless you have a very open relationship with them! 

Claire S

Loved it! Had heard friends and colleagues raving about it, so had to give it a go and we were not disappointed! The songs are hilarious and lewd, but no catchy enough to get stuck in your head (luckily), and the scenery and acting were just perfect. Would recommend to anyone!

David H

So much fun! I took a date and fortunately she loved it! I've still got half the songs stuck in my head, I have to be careful not singing them in the office! Definitely got near the knuckle a few times but I was never offended.

Karen M

I went with no preconceptions. So was extremely pleased to find i was laughing from the 'get go' & realised I was watching with a permanent smile on my face.

It was very funny. Yes i was annoyed about the swearing when i realised thats what they were saying. i think a different word could have been used.

But over all it was brilliant, & i'll never be able to see the Mormon Boys at my door again, the same way.

Thank you for a brilliant evening.

Tricia L

I have waited over 12 months to see this show and was promised the best two hours of my life. I was not disappointed. Having experienced Mormon-ism first hand while working in Salt Lake City, I loved every minute of this entertaining and surprisingly accurate history lesson. I would see it again!!!

Ev W

clever, funny,  near the mark brillance

The audiance resounded this

Natalie B

Outrageosly funny and Gobsmackingly Entertaining.  I would recommend it to anyone who isn't easily offended!

Deborah B

Really enjoyed this, very funny, excellent cast.  And you could understand everything they said, unlike some shows we've seen recently.  Just don't take your grandmother!

Jennifer F

I have already seen Book of Mormon twice and have not ruled out a third. It is hilarious and the music is so catchy you will be singing slightly inappropriate songs for days.

Aisling S

I was expecting it to be funny, if a little odd (consider the vague description), but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so funny! I spent most of it laughing, sniggering, giggling and out right guffawing; so much so that I actually missed some of the song lyrics (remedied by buying the soundtrack!) 

I wouldn't recommend it for children, or the more uptight PC sort, but anyone who knows how to have a laugh should definitely try and get a ticket (you'll have to remortgage your home to afford it, but it'll be totally worth it)!

Without giving too much away: 10/10, black humour, laugh out loud spectacle that I would recommend! Keep an eye on Time Out London and Theatre People for new dates and cheap on the spot tickets :)

Jiwen Z

Most hilarious musical I've ever seen. No wonder why the tickets are always so popular. Definitely recommend to all.

Peter Cumming

I've been wanting to see this for sometime so was over the moon when I saw the great offer form Time Out, the show didn't disappoint. Side splitting controversies from the word go. Note of warning this is not one for the easily offended. (Or blindingly religious!).

Intelligent, controversial comedy genius.

Haas diga eebowai!

Phi M

Guys you can take an uber taxi to this for free if you are a first time user, with the promotion code "uberisthefuture". Praise be to God!

Robert W

This is the funniest show I have ever seen in the theatre and I've seen hundreds over the years. It is such a pity they could never expose other religions in the same way as they would both have to go into hiding. But that's religion for you. Not to be missed if you enjoy laughing and are not a stick in the mud or obviously a Mormon. 

Ciaran Sanders

Original, fun, clever, and an utterly hilarious spectacle. The singing and dancing was so impressive. The whole thing was amazing! The best 2 and a half hours I have spent in London!

Henriette

This is not something you want to miss out on! The whole theatre was laughing from beginning to end. You will most likely find yourself singing 'Hello' all the way home.

C. Richmond

When things come highly recommended by masses from all directions, it can be a let down. I am really happy to say that this show that lived up to the raves. I was prepared for mass crudeness, there is some, but not to the extent I expected. It is a feel good show, with uplifting music, real belly laughs, giggles but also some seriousness. Was in the dress circle quite high up and could still see well, great theatre, art deco style, feels like an ocean liner of c1920s . I am not that hot on musicals but would see this again. Go with an open mind and prepare to be seriously entertained and amused!

Vicky Ball

Laugh a minute, from the moment we took our seats we were in stitches. But be warned this is not for the easily offended! Our seats were high but it didn't detract from the performance. Very efficient service from Time Out, tickets arrived promptly. I'd highly recommend this for a fun night out.

Elisabeth Elphick

This show will have you gasping in shock and crying with laughter all in the same minute. The acting was brilliant as was the singing and the storyline. You will need to go in there prepared to be slightly shocked otherwise you'll be finding yourself maybe offended by some of the story but as long as you are aware of this you should enjoy it immensely. The whole show is brilliant,there wasn't one part that I would say wasn't amazing. All in all a great night and a great show. Definitely recommend and I'm sure we will be back to see it again.

S Mahar

Hilarious from start to finish! Great fun and a wonderful night out. You'll find yourself humming the songs all the way home.

Audrey Lee

I am seventy six and half crippled with arthritis but I was determined to blast a way from Sussex to see this play because I did not believe anyone could make a musical out of a religion. Well, they did and they did it by throwing all fear and squeamishness to the winds - an iconoclastic scalpel was used to cut down beliefs everyone knew to be not just stupid but plain wrong - superstitious ways of curing aids, female genital mutilation and perverted teaching about God . I loved it. It was, above all else, honest - even more so than funny (I wish I could read all the words). That's leaving out the incredible energy and talent of the dancing and singing! What superb theatre!

Charlotte

A delight from beginning to end, the Book of Mormon was utterly hilarious, cleverly crafted and impeccably performed. Witty, filthy, irreverent, but never careless or crass, although I'm not sure my Catholic mother would approve of the "F*%! You God" number. My fiance and I left the theatre humming the tunes and woke up this morning with them still ringing in our ears. A must see.

Jessica

One of the best musicals I've ever seen. Biting satire, but not for the faint hearted! We laughed through every minute of the performance. The production was slick, music was excellent (we were humming all the way home), and well worth the ticket price.

Elizabeth Moore

Probably one of the best musicals I've seen in the West End! How they manage to smile like that from start to finish is beyond me! Quality cast, laugh a minute [good sense of humour required!] ...I'd see it again in a heartbeat!

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