The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales

I'm pretty sure I've said it more than enough times now that I love nothing more than a totally original and new musical, so it's no surprise that The Book of Mormon has been a hilarious part of my life since it first opened on Broadway back in March 2011; I bought the soundtrack as soon as it was released and listened to the music religiously (how ironic) and slowly fell in love with the idea of this hilarious Broadway musical that was so openly rude yet so widely accepted.

So, when the West End production landed almost exactly two years ago, I was heartbroken to realise that these were some of the most expensive ticket prices in West End history and it forced me to wait while I went and saw shows that I could get £25 or less tickets for. But, after a long time of searching and waiting, I managed to get my hands on some reasonably priced tickets a long while back and finally got to see the show this week... and it was everything I'd hoped for and more.

I'll be honest that this show will probably offend those of you that are easily offended or that struggle to see irony and a message behind jokes because the show is literally packed with them throughout, but I will also say that this show is a moving and serious cautionary tale that is masked by the satirical and hilarious comedic elements. Take the song "Hasa Diga Eebowai" for example: the song is literally a group of Ugandan people chanting "Fuck You God" in a very rhythmical way which initially seems crude yet hilarious, but is actually so honest. There's an article on the song in both the souvenir brochure and the book about the creation of the show that talks of how the Ugandans in the show are unfortunate enough to have drawn the short straw with the fact that have grown up in a third world country and are trapped by the anger surrounding them, and that if the song wasn't in the show or something on an equal level to a Ugandan telling the Mormons that their beliefs are basically a lot of tosh, then their role in the story wouldn't be a totally honest and raw one. So, as you can see, this show is definitely a lot deeper than just a funny musical.

The show also touches on religion in general and the hope that surrounds religion as opposed to just focusing on Mormonism itself; though there are many exclusively Mormon elements to the show, Parker and Stone have openly said that Mormonism is just used as an example of the effects religion has on society in general and the hope that it instills in people. The main area of hope we see in the show is young Ugandan Nabalungi's desire to leave where she lives to be in Salt Lake City (where Mormonism originated) because it seems like a "perfect and happy place" - a hilarious moment considering we all know that Salt Lake City really isn't anything special, which is equally very heartbreaking for the exact same reason. 

Even though the show is a serious one when you pull it apart, the humour used really is genuinely hilarious and being someone who doesn't laugh out loud at stage shows all too often, this seriously was an exception - I knew every single lyric before I saw this show and I was still laughing at the hilarious delivery of the lyrics and the way the songs were performed in general, as well as rocking with laughter at the dialogue that threads the story together so perfectly.

If you're looking for the perfect blend of absolute hilarity and something heartwarming and charming then seeing The Book of Mormon is something you must do, even if it results in you buying rather expensive tickets; you will honestly not regret it. I once read a review of the show saying that "seeing The Book of Mormon is one of the three things you must do before you die" - I couldn't agree more.

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