The Book of Mormon has confirmed that it will open at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London’s West End early 2013. The long rumoured transfer of this runaway Broadway success has been on the cards since the show scooped up 9 Tony Awards at last year’s Tony Awards ceremony including Best Musical. The show was expected to arrive in the 2012 season, but conflicts with schedules, the US National Tour and the threat of the Olympic games have pushed the show back into the new year. The production will open for previews from February 25 2013, with an official press night around March 23. Month long preview periods seem to be the norm for Broadway imports, although the format is more suited to brand new musicals such as The Bodyguard and Viva Forever, which have both announced similarly long preview periods. Whilst The Book of Mormon has been playing in New York for over a year, the extension suggests that the creative team are expecting to tweak the show to suit the quite different British audiences. Much debate has been had over how well the show will fare in the UK, where ‘South Park’ and Mormonism are much less known. The musical is not without its controversies, and features numerous swear words, as well as frequent sex references. The last time such a controversial musical found a home in the West End religious groups picketed outside the theatre and tried to stop people from going to see the Olivier Award Winning ‘Jerry Springer the Opera’. Whether this show will have the same effect remains to be seen.
The Prince of Wales Theatre in the heart of Piccadilly Circus has been home to Mamma Mia! for 8 years. The hit ABBA musical will make it’s way across town to the Novello Theatre as of September, after the London Olympic Games. The Beatles’ concert tribute Let it Be will fill the theatre in the interim, months after the West End waved goodbye to Backbeat – the ‘play with music’ that told the story of the fab four’s rise to fame.
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