Saturday, 30 April 2016

Book of Mormon | Prince of Wales Theatre

Finally I've seen it! Book of Mormon is a musical I've been longing to go to ever since I first heard about it a few years ago so I was thrilled to be receive a ticket as my nineteenth birthday present from my parents. I listen to the soundtrack regularly (whenever I listen to it in public I find myself chuckling aloud and getting funny looks from strangers) so I was expecting big things and it certainly didn't disappoint: even my Dad who isn't the biggest fan of musicals (although I often drag him along to shows to try and change his mind) enjoyed it so it gets a big thumbs up from me!

Book of Mormon certainly isn't for the faint-hearted. It's incredibly explicit and I can see how some people might find it slightly offensive but if you go in with an open mind then a laugh is almost guaranteed. The show tells the story of two young Mormon men who are sent on their two year mission to Uganda and as they quickly discover, it's nothing like The Lion King! The music is modern, fun and very catchy (as you expect from the man who also wrote Avenue Q  and Frozen- now there's a contrast if ever I saw one!) and the jokes came thick and fast, having me in stitches pretty much constantly. It does however also have a couple of poignant moments as well as an uplifting overall message meaning I left the theatre with a huge smile on my face.

The only thing that made me put off seeing the show previously were the ticket prices. I mentioned this is in a post I wrote last year (Are Ticket Prices Too High?) with the majority of the stalls tickets costing between £80-150 which I would personally never spend. It's possibly because it's a fairly small theatre but I definitely would have seen it sooner if it was more affordable. While the tickets we ended up with were still more than I would normally pay for the theatre I was very happy with our seats. We sat in row D in the circle, slightly to the side, and had an excellent view of the whole stage. We were able to see all the action and still see everyone's faces pretty clearly so I would definitely recommend those seats to anyone thinking of going.

Highlights of the show for me include KJ Hippensteel and Brian Sears as Elders Price and Cunningham respectively, both of whom starred in the show on Broadway. I was laughing as soon as they came on stage and I immediately felt very invested in their characters.Without giving anything away for those who are yet to see the show, Stephen Ashfield was hysterical as Elder McKinley and Asmeret Ghebremichael portrayed Nabulungi beautifully. I loved the group numbers complete with dance breaks and the act one finale Man Up was possibly my favourite in the whole show.

Honestly, the only downside for me was that the show went so quickly- it was the finale before I knew it and as soon as the curtain went down I felt the desire to see it again. If you're yet to see The Book of Mormon I would definitely put it on your list and if you're not sure whether it's for you, give the soundtrack a listen as it gives you a good flavour for the musical but, as I discovered, doesn't compare to seeing it live. You should also note that if the ticket prices are putting you off, they run a ticket lottery outside the theatre on Saturdays giving you the opportunity to receive two tickets for the evening performance for just £10 each so if you find yourself with nothing to do in London it's always worth a try! You can find tickets for the show here.

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