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The Crack Magazine

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The Book of Mormon

Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Can’t believe that this multi-award winning musical is already over a decade old – or that it’s taken me over two years to finally see it (thank you, Covid!) And was it worth the wait, you ask? Yup – lived up to every expectation and left me wanting more. It tells a simple tale of a mismatched pair of young Mormon missionaries sent to spread the word not, as hoped, in Florida but in Uganda. In a muddy village beset by everything from mosquitoes to AIDS to the depredations of a gangster war-lord obsessed with genital mutilation, the  stay-positive ethos of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day Saints isn’t too relevant, until the Book of Mormon gets imaginatively re-interpreted to include the frog-fucking and clit-nosed miracles. After that, it’s just a quick tap-dance or two to the (surprisingly) happy ending, though you do need to avoid the decadent disco horrors of Spooky Mormon Hell. The production buzzes with amazingly fast-moving, over-the-top, all singing all dancing energy, dialogue and lyrics are absolutely wicked and performances are perfectly in tune with the material. (Especially Jordan Lee Davies, whose every gesture/ expression was honed to South Park perfection.)  afterwards there were Mormons outside the theatre not protesting but offering information, and the church is also advertising in the programme. Bless!

Gail-Nina Anderson

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