The Book Of MormonPrince of Wales Theatre
Posted 31 March 2013 - 08:22 PM
Posted 01 April 2013 - 08:54 PM
The lottery is great fun, isn't it? Stayed after Saturday's matinee to watch it. Almost as enjoyable as the show.
Well, maybe not quite.....
There's no doubt about it, The Book of Mormon is very good. But the 'greatest musical of the century'? No. Perhaps it's because I've heard the recording several times and so I knew the jokes. Maybe I was just expecting too much. In truth, it's a very traditional book musical, good catchy songs, some nice set pieces though they could've done more with the hell dream.
It's a brilliant satire of organised religion. It's not so much racist as rather it pokes fun at our stereotypical views of Africa, and at the help we 'the third world'. "there's a Red Cross on every corner" "like Lion King"...... this notion that all Africans live in mud huts, have sayings to make things better etc. Best shown in the song "I am Africa"- one of the highlights. The way they make light of Aids is a brave thing to do. But it works.... it sort of highlights the issue better. And of course it also pokes fun (a lot) at the Mormon faith- loved the Python-esque re-enactments at the start of each act. But the Mormons do come across, by the end, as genuinely lovely people. They want to do good.
But some of the jokes themselves outstay their welcome and turn into childish; "maggots in my scrotum" is one. And Elder Cunningham, whilst played perfectly by Jared Gertner, is possibly the most annoying character I've ever seen on stage. One tires of him. Lots of it, though, is hilarious. It's just my kind of humour. And beneath the 'shocking' jokes about rape and Aids is a lovely little story. The show has a real heart, though it does feel a little more manufactured than Avenue Q, a musical which is in many senses very similar (they share Robert Lopez, too).
There are some other superb performances. Gavin Creel - whilst too old for Elder Price - captures that shiny teeth American on a mission just right, whilst also having an underlying self doubt. But the two real stars are Stephen Ashfield as Elder McKinley (utterly camp and hilarious) and Alexia Khadime as the (v cute) Nabulungi. One really feels and yearns for her.
I was expecting something bigger- in truth it's a small show. An efficient design, serves the piece. But that's no criticism. It doesn't need massive sets or spectacle. I was row G circle (£26.50) and the view was great. Felt v close.
Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:24 PM
I could also watch the costumes better from the Stalls and found them brilliant - such a level of detail; especially Mrs Browns Lion King costume made stuff a house wife would have at home as a lion towel or a broom in her hair and of course the Ugandan's costumes in their little play (pilot officer Uniform jacket for Joseph Smith, license number plates as hats etc.)
It was also nice to watch the reaction of the other audience member at certain points of the show. They all seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
Sat in the Stalls K4 at the right side and had sometimes a restricted view - shouldn't have been sold at full price I'd say.
Oh, and when Cunningham called Nabalungi "Nigellalawson" at the end, I couldn't help myself and had to lough out loud...
Now I'm really hoping to see some u/s at my next visit, as it was a complete main cast again.
Posted 03 April 2013 - 06:26 PM
Posted 03 April 2013 - 10:12 PM
I won the lottery last week and it's funny how they try to get everyone to act excited if they win. They looked most disappointed when I just stuck my hand up and walked forward when they called my name.
Posted 04 April 2013 - 08:58 AM
And that's a bit of a shame, as it IS a great musical. All the songs are excellent, every last one of them. Even "Spooky Mormon Hell Dream", which I found a bit blah on the OCR. It's very funny, it's very well written and the performances are all excellent (apart from Alexia Khadime, who I have never liked in anything). Special mention for Jared Gertner who has the toughest job of all of them. I always think it's so difficult to make a character that's so hideously annoying NOT be irksome to the audience and for me, he succeeded in spades.
One thing though, in the era of "perceived value" that we are now in thanks to ever increasing ticket prices, I think it's a little unwise to push the ticket prices on this one so high when the set is so obviously horribly cheap. Not even in a "we've spent millions to make it look this tacky" way. Just cheap.
Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:03 PM
P.S. Sorry about any mistake - English isn't my first language...
Posted 04 April 2013 - 07:22 PM
you can have up to 2 tickets
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