As always… I went to this The Book of Mormon with an open mind – I had heard VERY little about it beforehand (other than it was new, it was “great” and that it was extending it’s show time due to it’s popularity), but I only REALLY started thinking about it the day we went to see it. Hang on a minute “The Book of Mormon”? Isn’t that about religion (doh, yes of course it is) and isn’t it supposed to be funny? Oh. That does make me feel a little uncomfortable. Though not particularly religious myself, I do feel you shouldn’t make fun of what others believe in. Eeek. Add some foul language. Poking fun at the unrests in Uganda (and making Ugandans look a little stupid too). Lots of use of the F-word. More Eeek. What else do you expect from the creators of South Park.
Put that all aside and well, the musical is indeed very good. I am always a bit funny about musical – I do enjoy them, but they are often just so OTT. Yet the musical fun, dance and OTTness really works in the ironic sense when pocking fun at the Mormon protagonists.
Musical Info The Book of Mormons:
- By the creators of South Park - Trey Parker and Matt Stone
- Parental Warning of explicit and strong language
- Currently playing at The Prince of Wales Theatre London
Elder Price and Elder Cunningham are paired up to go to Uganda to convert the locals to Mormon Faith. Elder Price is your “Star Mormon”, whilst Elder Cunningham is the geek that gets everything wrong and social awkward. They go to Uganda, where the enormity of their tasks begin to sink in. Under pressure and seeing a man shot in the face, Elder Price starts falling apart, whilst the socially awkward Cunningham steps up to convert the locals with made up stories about the book of Mormon. Winning him 20 baptisms in a row and saving the local mission station from being closed down. But his unusual stories and practice are revealed when an inspection comes from the US…. will the young Mormons be sent home in disgrace?
Watch the Open Sequence (which I loved)
My husband loved it (he loves South Park). We saw Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter sitting two rows in front of us – ALSO loving it. The cast got a standing ovation. Well. Surely, that means BRILLIANT all round, right?
Before we went into the theatre, I was approached by young, clean shaven man, in a white shirt and black tie. I was handed a little card with details about the Mormon organisation on it. I smiled. I thought it was part of the show. During the show, the penny dropped. The 2-3 individual’s outside, were NOT part of the show, but earnest young people who believe in something, calmy and quietly passing on their information in an attempt to make good, what is destroyed on stage.
To be truthful, I feel sorry for them.
Whatever you believe, you have a right to that belief. And being torn to shreds in such a spectacular way just doesn’t seem fair. Yes, South Park does it all the time. But the poking of fun against one organisation or groups of people, gets lost in the many episodes, everyone is made fun of at all levels. But there is only ONE Book of Mormon show in the West End/ Broadway. Not 100s making fun over everyone out there.
If you ask me. I would have have preferred the same musical – with a fictitious religious organisation and a fictitious location for converting people to their faith. Then a TINY bit less vulgarity and I would have loved the musical through and through. I would have found it “very funny” and “very clever”. But personally, I can’t say I thought that of the actual Book of Mormon.
Call me conservative. Call me boring.
I just think it is unkind and cheap humour. Getting laughs and appraise through it’s aggressive and in your face shock tactics.
Having said all that, I thought the cast were indeed AMAZING! Both Elder Price and Elder Cunningham were BRILLIANT and incredibly convincing.
My overall movie rating for The Book of Mormons:
Would my husband like this musical? He loved it.
Did my friend like it? I went with my Hubby.. but Helena Bonham Carter certainly enjoyed it!
Likeability of characters – 8/10 (the Mormons were VERY well cast, the Ugandans were annoyingly patronised)
General story line – 8/10 (yes, a good story and funny….)
The Ending – 8/10 (again a good ending)
Overall? Clearly, I have missed the point or something and I am sure to be showing my own critical naivity. Though I should be jumping up and down with excitement waving 10/10 placards and shouting YOU MUST GO. I just don’t feel I can. The complete humiliation of a group of people (whether I believe in what they say or not) in such a public manner just doesn’t sit well with me.