Throwback - Book of Mormon (November 2014)

Okay so I'm very into musical theatre, and for years I found it hard to point at one musical in particular and say "that's my favourite!" But then I was introduced to The Book of Mormon, and all of that changed. 2 years later, I can definitely say that I am OBSESSED with that show, like I've never been obsessed with any other. So when my friend asked me if I'd like to go with her on her birthday to see the show again, this time with the currently leads, I agreed wholeheartedly!
If you aren't aware of the show at this point, then a) where have you been for the past 2+ years? and b) get booking right now! The story follows two Mormon teenagers as they head to Uganda on their mission, their aim being to baptize as many Ugandan people into the Mormon church as possible. Unfortunately though, once they arrive they realise that their mission isn't going to be as easy as they envisioned.

The show starred American leads Billy Tighe as perfect Mormon boy Elder Price, and A.J Holmes as his hyperactive and unpredictable mission brother Elder Cunningham. Stephen Ashfield played the closeted Mormon district leader Elder McKinnley, while Lucy St Louis played Nabalungi (the role normally played by Alexia Khadime). The main cast was utterly top notch, and the ensemble was outstanding, especially the ensemble of Ugandan villagers whose frank line delivery and super enthusiastic dancing got some of the biggest laughs of the night. Billy Tighe's Elder Price was very different to other interpretations which I had seen. He was very angry, self righteous and mean and it worked perfectly, especially when paired with A.J. Holmes' super sunny, likable and bouncy Elder Cunningham, who you root for from the moment he steps on stage. Tighe's impressive and hilarious performance of You and Me (but mostly me) solidified his character as selfish, deluded and downright brilliant, while Holmes' end of act 1 number Man Up was so enjoyable that you could FEEL the audience buzzing in their seats. The chemistry between the pair was glorious! Lucy St Louis was also wonderful as Nabalungi, her innocence and naivety was very sweet, and she absolutely shone during her act 1 solo Sal Tlay Ka Siti. Her heartbreaking reprise of Hasa Diga Eebowai was a standout moment too.  Of course Olivier award winner Stephen Ashfield was brilliant as Elder McKinnley, and his solo during the fan favourite number 'turn it off' had me in tears of laughter. Truly this cast is one of the strongest on the West End right now.

The show was still as enjoyable this time as it was the last, and I found myself laughing points where I hadn't done previously, as a result of the new cast members fresh takes on the character.

I can't wait to return to the Prince of Wales theatre to see this hilarious show again, though with ticket prices starting at almost £40, I doubt I'll be going back for a while!

Verdict - 5 Stars

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