but this irreverent Broadway hit musical from Trey Parker and Matt Stone (the guys who created South Park) and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez is fast, frequently foul-mouthed and lots of fun.
The show begins with the unlikely pairing of naïve Utah mission school graduates Elder Price and Elder Cunningham arrives in an AIDS-ridden Uganda – so different from The Lion King – to convert the natives.
Their colleagues have had zero success – not a single baptism between them – but when all-American golden boy Price cracks, geeky misfit Cunningham calls on his overactive imagination to add colour – and frogs – to the dull text of the Latter-Day Saints.
Filthy but rarely really offensive, the satire is soft and (despite a one-eyed war lord and the threat of female circumcision hanging over Alexia Khadime’s Nabulungi) there’s a feelgood atmosphere running right through.
The cast – including the local doctor with maggots in his scrotum – give it their all.
Powerfully-voiced Americans Gavin Creel (well-cast as the fervent, square-jawed Price) and Jared Gertner (simultaneously endearing and annoying as dumpy sidekick Cunningham) are, intentionally, almost cartoonish whilst home-grown Stephen Ashfield’s Elder McKinley tries (but doesn’t quite succeed) in quashing his own homoerotic thoughts as he leads the clean-cut, well-drilled Elders in a nifty song and dance routine.
Not exactly ground-breaking after all, but a really good night out.
Prince of Wales , Coventry Street, W1D 6AS
Tube | Piccadilly Circus
Currently booking to 11th January 2014
£37.50 – £72.50 (+ premium seats £125.00)
Photo: Joan Marcus