This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw the media night performance of The Book of Mormon at the invitation of Birmingham Hippodrome.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production was placed on hold on Monday 16th March with the remaining performances cancelled.
This production contains… (Deep breath)… very strong language, dry humping, violence, stereotyping and references to female genital mutilation and rape. It also explores themes around religion and beliefs.
The Book of Mormon at
Directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw book, music and lyrics by Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Robert Lopez
The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints aka The Mormons have missionaries all over the world. From their homes in Salt Lake City, Utah, American teenagers ironically named “Elder” Kevin Price (Robert Colvin) and “Elder” Arnold Cunningham (Conner Peirson) find themselves in Uganda in a small village where gang warlords threaten the lives of everyone there on a regular basis.
As well as joining up with the established Mormons who have been living there for some time Price and Cunningham meet Nabulungi (Nicole-Lily Baisden) and her father Mafala Hatimbi (Ewen Cummins) who are less than interested in their preaching. Soon Nabulungi realises that their young visitors could provide her with an exit from the country to America.
This is an outrageous story filled with bags and bags of heart, littered with bad language, it explores the themes of white saviours and the presumption that people need saving. It covers the lack of change or hope that religion can offer in a remote village stricken by disease.
It also casually lampoons musical theatre with nods to Sound of Music’s I Have Confidence, Annie’s Tomorrow, The Lion King, A Chorus Line, High School Musical and Rent all with jazz hands and great vocals from the company throughout particularly Nicole-Lily Baisden.
The story skillfully skews expectations throughout, from romantic leads to cultural reactions and provides twists and turns all the way to the end.
I found myself laughing at awkward moments, Robert Colvin shines as the all-American Christian out of his comfort zone but the real scene-stealer here is comedic Conner Peirson as Elder Cunningham who is a total stranger to the truth.
The plot is filled with the random South Park type cameos which both date the style some of the content a little and date stamp the story to between 2000 and 2010, I was half expecting them to show Saddam Hussein at one moment.
A quirky take on the coming-of-age story this is deliciously funny, hugely entertaining and surprisingly uplifting, The Book of Mormon was at Birmingham Hippodrome until Monday 16th March 2020.
Look out for future tour dates at: bookofmormonbroadway.com
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.