The Book of Mormon
Welcome to The Book of Mormon London. This hit musical transferred to London’s West End after an extremely successful Broadway run along with an LA production and US National Tour. It was one of the most eagerly anticipated West End shows in decades, with excitement building from early 2012. Since opening at Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in March 2011, The Book of Mormon musical has taken the modern musical theatre world by storm.
Conceived by Trey Parker and Matt Stone the team behind hit TV series ‘South Park’ and songwriter Robert Lopez the show came from modest beginnings to become one of the most popular Broadway shows of the past decade.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone became friends in college, after collaborating together on ‘Cannibal: The Musical’, they grew in confidence, and went on to develop ‘South Park’ which contained musical elements. It wasn’t until they were developing movie Team America that they met Robert Lopez. The trio’s shared interest in Mormonism and Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church lead them to create The Book of Mormon.
After a number of extended workshops and previews the show premiered directly on Broadway on the 24th of March 2011.
The show is an edgy and sometimes outrageous satire musical which takes shots at everything from organised religion to consumerism, the state of the economy and the musical theatre genre itself. Robert Lopez is no stranger to controversial musicals, after co-writing the score and lyrics for the 2003 puppet musical Avenue Q which shocked many audience members at the time. Just like Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon went on to win the Tony Award for Best New Musical and still continues to be the hottest ticket in town.
The show tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries who are sent to a small town in Uganda to bring news of the Latter Day Saints. They are shocked at the cultural differences, as a War Lord threatens the local villages and controls the area by fear. Both missionaries attempt to share the scriptures with the local people, although only one of them knows it well enough. Famine, poverty and AIDS threaten the town, and the duo must battle their own beliefs in order to succeed and make a change. The Broadway production currently stars Gavin Creel and Christopher John O’Neil while the London production stars Nic Rouleau and Brian Sears as Elders Price and Cunningham respectively.
The hit musical opened in London at the Prince of Wales Theatre, which is owned by Cameron Mackintosh’s Delfont Mackintosh Company. Preview performances began on Monday February 25 2013, with an official press night on Thursday March 21. Tickets for the production continue to sell extremely well, and Book of Mormon looks set to become a permanent fixture in the West End.
Hurray! It has been announced that The Book of Mormon will open at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in 2017. The creative team are said to be excited to take the show down under and are looking to cast some home grown talent. It seems there is no stopping this blockbuster musical and its continued world domination.