Why The Book of Mormon is a must-see
Whatever you think about theatre, there’s a production you cannot have failed to hear the hype around. The Book of Mormon is the one show that if you’re going to see it, people either enthuse about the time they watched it to you, or express their longing to see it too. Everyone’s heard of it. I was lucky enough to get a last minute ticket from my friend – and suddenly my evening plans of laundry and going to the gym didn’t seem so fun anymore. Here is what I thought.
The Book of Mormon follows the story of Mormons Elder Price and Elder Cunningham as they are sent on their mission to spread the word of the Book of Mormon to Uganda. It’s created by South Park writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who give it a brand of inimitable sharp wit and dark, dry humour.
The songs are incredibly catchy and wonderfully choreographed, and also poke fun at a range of topics, including sexuality, religion, and culture.
Two songs really stood out for me. ‘Turn it Off’ talks about killing your feelings off, whether that’s feeling sad, disappointed – or having gay feelings towards your friend. Saying you cannot just keep your feelings down because that’s ‘just like a dimmer switch’ and won’t work, and an amazing choreography performed partially in the dark made this for me.
Another real stand-out was ‘Hasa Diga Eebowai’, which translates roughly to ‘fuck you God’. The Ugandans dance enthusiastically around while taking the piss out of the rough ride life has given them, finishing each verse by shouting Hasa Diga Eebowai. Nothing’s safe as they shrug off problems like Aids and female genital mutilation. It’s pretty close to the bone, and very funny.
However, there isn’t a scene that goes past that doesn’t have something that will make you laugh out loud. Some of it is in the delivery of the lines, which is always smart and unexpected. Sometimes it’s the interaction between the characters and their relationships.
I particularly like the relationship between Elder Cunningham and one of the Ugandan women, Nabulungi. When he is going to baptise her, the song and chemistry is very tongue-in-cheek and stuffed full of innuendo. He also can never remember her name, calling her increasingly bumbling Brit type interpretations instead, including Neutrogena and Nigel Farage.
Although I can’t imagine any devout Mormons finding the musical particularly funny, for everyone else, I cannot recommend this enough. The acting is spot-on, the humour is hilarious, and it’s one of the slickest shows you’ll ever see. Beg, borrow or steal a ticket – now.
Find tickets for Book of Mormon now
- Image attribution: Book of Mormon Facebook page