The Book of Mormon (UK Tour – Sunderland) Review


Elder Price – Kevin Clay
Elder Cunningham – Jacob Yarlett
Moroni/Elder McKinley – Will Hawksworth
Price’s Dad/Joseph Smith/Mission President – Patrick George
Cunningham’s Dad – Brad Veitch
Mrs Brown – M-Jae Cleopatra Isaac
Nabulungi – Nicole-Lily Baisden
Malala Hatimbi – Ewen Cummins
General – Thomas Vernal

Date: Friday 30th August (2:30pm)

Venue: Sunderland Empire


Easily one of the funniest musicals that you will ever see, this is what happens with the writers of South Park combine with the creators of Avenue Q! I have to admit that I wasn’t overly sure what to fully expect with this show and I think that actually made it even better to watch. It is hilarious from the first Hello!

Elder Price is seen by everyone as the star of his class and from the first moment we see Elder Cunningham and how he messes up the doorbell and selling approach it is obvious they are going to end up together. Price wanted nothing more than to be based in Orlando his favourite place in the world. But as he is parked with Cunningham and they are placed in Africa everything is about to become very difficult for them, or is it?

From the start you cannot help but feel sorry for Cunningham and totally relate to him in many different ways. All he wants is for someone to be his best friend. Price has a chip on his shoulder and feels he is better than everyone else. He will learn more from his companion than he could ever have imagined. Which leaves us to realise that you should always give someone a chance and not judge so easily!

With the pair in Africa that really did open it up for a lot of different jokes. Especially when you think about how Africa is shown across the world, AIDS constantly being mentioned but a rather hard hitting part of the show is actually about female genital mutilation – I was not expecting that when heading to watch it. So creating those tough messages within the lighthearted nature of the show. I can fully understand why it has won so many awards.

Malala Hatimbi becomes a central character with her father and the people from the village. She puts her trust in Cunningham and again some hilarious moments. Especially when he cannot pronounce her name so we get a range of different ones from Bon Jovi to No Deal Brexit (which shows that it stays topical) it was lovely waiting to find out what the next name for her would be.

The script, lyrics and music were written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone best known for creating comedy South Park and Lopez co-wrote the music for a personal favourite musical of mine in Avenue Q. One thing for sure with that trio was that it was going to be hilarious but also very very clever.

That is what we get with the songs and how amusing they are from start to finish. “Hello” was probably the song I knew best prior to seeing the show so to eventually get to see it live and in action as the opening number was rather exciting. “Man Up”, “Making Things Up Again” and “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” certainly push those boundaries and fit in so well with the story. “I Believe” is probably one of the biggest numbers and that does have some rather inspirational lyrics as well as being utterly hilarious.

Laughter and smiling is something I feel I personally need to do more of and with a show like this it is guaranteed. Something I love about a musical comedy is to take the edge off, a lot of theatre is very serious and hard hitting. The Book of Mormon proves that you can have so much fun, offend everyone but still contain some great messages and provoke thoughts!

Something I had to just check and research more when coming out of the theatre was the background for the actual Book of Mormon and I was surprised that a lot of things said in the show are actually true about the book and Joseph Smith. I seriously thought it was all just made up! That was certainly not the case at all! So many piss takes within the show are actually based on facts, although the book is not really based on anything was it Joseph Smith? Absolutely unreal that so many people believe that it was another book from the bible. Even though it was apparently found in America many years later.

The performances in the show are top class and I was super impressed with Kevin Clay as Elder Price. The scene stealing star of the show for me was Jacob Yarlett as Elder Cunningham, an outstanding loving and hilarious performance from start to finish. I wanted to be his friend! Ewen Cummins as Malala Hatimbi showed off an amazing voice as well!

I can see myself going to see this show again as it really did make me laugh, smile and also cringe. In a world that is obsessed with political correctness I am so pleased The Book of Mormon exists!


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