The Book of Mormon. Right. OK. Where do I start.
I have never seen a musical like it before. I had no clue about the story line and had never heard any of the songs. Yet I had seen the outrage on twitter. So I felt both under prepared and yet well prepared for the experience.
The Prince of Wales Theatre
I queued outside the venue in anticipation. The Prince of Wales theatre is only a minutes walk from Leicester Square, perched discretely on the corner of a street. The inside is extremely small and classy, with no large entrance or foyer, and little yet decorative corridors that herd you to the auditorium.
There was a funny moment with the doorman actually. He inspected the tickets, looked at us with a bored expression and said ‘you need to take the left stairs and head ALL the way to the back’. I capitalised the word ‘all’ as he vocally stressed it with a roll of his eyes. How odd I thought. Circle seats nearer the back row were pretty damn good. Anyway, we thanked him and made our way to our seats. There is no Balcony or Grand Tier. Circle is actually the furthest away from the stage. That explained his disgust.
Anyway, how ironic that such a quaint little venue houses such a loud and risky show.
The fact it is written by the makers of South Park, gives you a pretty good idea of the type of comedy that ensued. Cue, a comical and camp look at the beliefs of the church. We saw a group of newly graduated Mormons assigned to preach in countries across the globe. The duo we followed were assigned… Africa. That can only be a good thing, right? Right?
The duo consisted of uptight Elder Kevin Price, and loose nut Elder Arnold Cunningham. The latter stole the show. Daylight blummin robbery. He’s that socially awkward friend we’ve all been stuck with. Yet Arnold stole my heart too.
He’s annoying as hell. Wait, there was a scene in Hell where Hitler grinded and that was way more than annoying. So let me take that back. Arnold isn’t as annoying as Hell. Just annoying, like when a bug won’t stop flying around your face. The poor thing doesn’t realise what it’s doing. That’s a better comparison.
His comic timing and character was the best I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen a lot of musicals.
So many insults
Arthur went on to teach an African Tribe about the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately he had never actually read it. It’s a bit boring he said. Now remember he is a… colourful, energetic character, that compulsively lies and has a big interest in science fictional characters. So let’s just say his teachings had some creative license…
Try to imagine every stereotype and insult you have heard. Now triple the offence of it, times that by 100 and you’re still nowhere near close to this outrageous show. I am pretty sure I had my hand covering my mouth the whole way through. I was attempting to hide my gaping jaw and snigger. Damn I was parched by the end. But, seriously I didn’t know if I should or could laugh, cry or storm out.
They’ve thrown PC out of the window. No they’ve tied it to a brick and dropped it in to the ocean. Poured petrol all over it and watched it burn. Nailed it to a cross and celebrated the absurdity of it. You get the idea.
Overall, the songs were ok, but it was the top class comedic characters and off the scale crazy plot that made this an unforgettable show.
All Hail the Book of… Arnold. Now buy your express ticket to the show that’s high as f**k. Unless you’re easily offended and/or have heart problems. This isn’t for wimps. Peace out.