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PopWrapped | Theater

‘Book of Mormon’ Breaks Records in London!

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PopWrapped

Updated 03/24/2013 3:39am
‘Book of Mormon’ Breaks Records in London!

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Clare Sidoti


Staff Writer 

It continues to be a sell-out hit on Broadway, now the musical about Latter Day Saint missionaries from the irreverent minds of South Park creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, along with Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, has made the successful jump across the pond. The Book of Mormon had its London opening on Thursday night, and Mormon fever has swept through the British capital, with the show recording the highest single day of sales in both West End and Broadway history.

 

Publicity for the musical has been at an all-time high, with posters littering tube stations and the side of buses since the end of 2012. So much so that it would be hard to find a Londoner who doesn’t know that ‘the Mormons are coming”. However, the strategy has proved to have paid off as tickets for the musical have become the hottest property in London long before previews opened at the end of February. Fans have lined the streets to get their hands on lottery tickets, for the first preview performance and entered Facebook and Twitter competitions in a bid for tickets. Before the show had even opened, to get the best seats you needed to book for July or August.

 

Despite some luke-warm reviews from papers such as The Telegraph, Daily Mail and The Guardian, 9am Friday morning, 150,000 new tickets were released and bookings were opened up to January 2014. Between 10am and midnight, £2,107,972 worth of tickets were sold – the highest single box office ticket sale in both West End and Broadway history. These takings more than doubled the Broadway sale after its 2011 opening (US$1,519,201).

 

Producer Scott Rudin spoke to the Wall Street Journal about the London response saying “it’s an unbelievable result… To be literally twice what we did the day after opening in New York is just unheard of”.

 

While it is difficult to predict how audiences across the pond will respond, Rudin commented that the type of humour seen in ‘Mormon’ is very British, citing Monty Python and Chris Morris as having influenced the South Park duo. The stars themselves spoke of their love of Monty Python and its lasting influence on their work in a BBC3 Culture Show special, The Mormons are Here!, which aired at the end of February in conjunction with the first few London previews, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the musical has struck a chord with British fans.

 

The Tony Award-winning musical follows two Mormon missionaries to a remote Ugandan village to spread the word about Jesus Christ. For more information on the London show and to purchase tickets, visit the website.

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