With the move to Colombia impending I found myself escaping the blustering Northern winds to visit the admittedly not much better underground secret wind tunnel fraught streets of London, to get my visa for Colombia. And to also finally visit the new flat of one of my best friends Laura (the tiny ginger below).
Like many of my more focused and grown up university friends my lovely friend Laura has moved to London after university. I’m sure within a few years I’ll be name dropping her profusely as she is an incredibly talented writer, but for now she is just one of my best friends, the first friend I made at university and the marvellous individual who has spent years feeding my passions for coffee, food and good books. She is also currently working in the Prince of Wales theatre in London, where The Book Of Mormon is enjoying well deserved success. As such she introduced me to the ticket lottery. An amazing practise where the theatre dishes out 21 lottery won front row seats for a mere £20 before each days show. Incredibly, luckily, I got one of these excellent tickets and spent the evening with my first front row theatre tickets, watching The Book Of Mormon.
South Park is not my cup of tea, I tend to dislike crude humour and those fat block coloured cartoon kids can really get on my nerves. While I have seen parts of it that are clever, it’s just not to my tastes. So I was a bit wary about going to see the Book of Mormon, the new hit show in the west end created by Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Bobby Lopez the creators of South Park.
It was amazing. I haven’t laughed so hard for a long time.
There were some parts that bordered on awkward for me, a bit too crude. Saying that I laughed incredibly loudly at the line “I have maggots in my scrotum” so please don’t take this to mean that I consider myself too classy for this kind of humour. I can be incredibly puerile.
The production of the show was wonderful with incredibly swish changes and energy from the entire cast with particularly stunning performances from the three leads Jared Gertner, Alexia Khadime & Ashley Day. I saw Ashley in the lead role rather than Gavin Creel, though after seeing him I really can’t imagine the character of Elder Price any other way. He had this beautifully expressive cheesy face and perfect comic timing. Elder Cunningham was played by Jared Gertner who was awkwardly amazing in his role of misfit come good and Alexia Khadime playing Nabalungi gave me actual goosebumps with her solo, showing that she could be both hilarious and bring real emotion to the comic musical. I really could enthuse about all of the cast but I’ll stop myself there.
I actually feel a bit bad for the cast, because after turning up at the stage door two shows in a row waiting for Laura, who works in the theatre stood creepily eyeballing the door. I stopped looking like a casual show goer and I fear, began to look like a psycho stalker who was planning on making the cast into my new set of Mormon skin suits. Jared Gertner particularly seemed lovely when he came out of the door but my floundering shyness rendered me unable to do anything other than a very northern headbob, probably making me look even more like a stage show murderess.
All in all, I really enjoyed the show. It was very unlike anything I have previously seen on stage but the performances were just faultless. The script was fast paced and clever but also appealed to the gross kid in us that doesn’t often get let out in a theatre as nice as the Prince of Wales. It pushes boundaries, of course it does, and for me sometimes it did go a bit far. The production actually often has people walking out of the show, offended at its content. The aim is not to offend. I think it would be very hard to get offended without taking the script far out of context of the satirical look at the Mormon faith as it is intended.
All I can say is, if you can, go and see the Book of Mormon. Let yourself become”wet with salvation”.