Book Of Mormon Review Prince Of Wales London……
I have never been so appalled, shocked and offended by a musical!
I have never been so gob-smacked, disgusted and insulted by the material of a musical.
I have never laughed so hard, listened so intently & loved every second of a musical work of genius in over 10 years!
Knock Knock! – Welcome to ‘The Book Of Mormon’….
Let’s be clear, Book Of Mormon is not a family musical, in fact I wouldn’t even let my parents anywhere near it. It’s deliberately un-PC and we love them for it!
Half way through Act 1 a man of impressive existence informed his wife next to me “I just don’t get it! Aids, raping babies, clitoris removal and the third chapter of the bible? Why are these people laughing?”
It’s certainly not Mary Poppins but I’ve rarely seen a musical have so much public interest and mass appeal as TBOM. It has to be the most publicised and hyped show in West End history!
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So, what’s it about? Well if I told you that it would ruin the surprise.
What I can tell you is that there are incredibly clever nods to other musicals, especially the Lion King and even Wicked that hark back to the ‘big production days’ of the West End.
There’s big ballads, several 11 O’clock numbers & a fabulously fast moving meticulously written script.
It’s camp, satirical, over-the-top and rams the fear of God into you from the moment you arrive…..
The score is deliberately familiar at times and the staging hasn’t been so over the top since The Producers & Spamalot original productions on Broadway. (The 2 best productions in history in my humble opinion).
Book Of Mormon is no love letter to the religion – it ridicules it in the most offensive manner and exposes it’s many, frequent and often unfortunate weaknesses.
What I love about BOM is that it’s not a song book musical where you can sit and relax – you have to pay attention Bigtime!
It’s clever, it’s wordy, it’s quick, it’s sassy and it is certainly in your face! Shrinking Violets may not apply!
With music by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone it’s obviously going to brilliant. What else would you expect?
Best known for creating the animated comedy South Park, Parker and Stone co-created the music with Lopez, a co-composer/co-lyricist of Avenue Q – another brilliantly irreverent & anarchic production.
Their last outing was the South Park movie which should be used a barometer of your £70+ investment! If Satan enjoying carnal pleasures with Saddam Hussein doesn’t offend you – you’ll LOVE The Book Of Mormon!
The cast in the London production are terrific and perfectly cast.
Special credit goes unpredictably to Broadway leading man Gavin Creel who is a fountain of energy throughout the show and has true comic timing as well as a masterfully controlled voice – a rare combination! Stunning performance….especially on a 2 show day!
Here’s Gavin Creel singing “I Believe” from the West End company of Book Of Mormon:
It was truly wonderful to see Alexia Khadime who plays about 100 different names in the show. I last interviewed her in Wicked where she stole the show. I just love her. Such soul, such talent, such beauty and such a gloriously delicious voice.
Finally though I was hugely impressed by Jared Gertner who more or less steals the show with his ‘Nathan Lane’ style antics as the cumbersome chubby halfwit who undoubtedly ‘gets the girl’ and wows the audience with not only his powerful voice but his brilliant theatricality and stage presence.
Every left footing, Guardian reading, quiche eating, Champagne sipping, BBC media journo manager type should be forced to see this production! I would love them to see what people with a brain and sense of humour laugh at.
This is the LMFAO musical.
Finally, at a time when shows are closing hand over fist and ALW is making a song and dance about bringing back his half-baked touring productions into the West End – this ‘unknown’ bucks the trend.
Book Of Mormon is absolute proof that if you’re amazing you’ll survive and stand out. Truly the best satirical theatrical event to hit the stage in well over 10 years!
On par with the writing, creativity and brilliance of The Producers & Spamalot – it has an obvious edge over many of the stale, predictable & formulaic shows cluttering the West End.
Bravo The Book Of Mormon! Not a lot makes my wince, cringe and take a deep breath but you achieved that several times tonight.
You can bang on my knocker any day! I’ll be back x
Review by Alex Belfield at www.celebrityradio.biz 10th July 2014