40 Before 40: Book of Mormon

I’m not sure I wrote about this in detail here before but as I’m turning 40 at the end of next year (I’m just over 38 now) I wrote a list of 40 goals to achieve (or at least try to) before I’m 40. Several of them are travel related which was already going to be a stretch at best and most honestly unrealistic. But a girl can dream. With coronavirus those are now looking even more out of reach.

However two weeks ago (7th March) my friend Carolyn and I went to Birmingham for the day to tick one of them off the list – we went to see a matinee of Book of Mormon.

We got the train via Oxford to New Street and then as we had some time to spare before our lunch booking we popped into Foyles. I bought myself three books – all classics from the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list (one of my other goals on my 40 list is to reach 250 books read on that). And ones in the Penguin paperback range – the ones that they used to do (or maybe still do) in hardback as part of the clothbound classics range. I love those covers and I’m not officially collecting them but I kind of am…

Next it was to Pizza Express, a yummy lunch and a bottle of wine to share. Delicious and fun to spend some time with a friend catching up away from the day to day (things haven’t been easy for me but they’d been more difficult for her). We went to a couple more shops and then it was time to go to the theatre!

I’ve been to the Hippodrome loads of times but we tried going a slightly different way that I thought would cut off a huge hill and be easier. I got us lost. I was actually right that it was easier but I got confused about part of it and took us on a huge unnecessary loop in the wrong direction. We came back that way and it was easier.

Book of Mormon was great! I hadn’t heard any of the songs in advance but I enjoyed it and I’ve been singing some of them since. All I really knew about the show before we went was what my mum had told me after she and my sister went. Which was that it was good but quite rude. And I’d read a few comments online that it was offensive.

I thought it managed to hit the exact place where it was thought provoking, funny and a bit offensive without being too offensive. It was on the line a bit in places. I’d expected the offensive bits to be about religion but I hadn’t expected it to be about race too (Mostly as I hadn’t known that it’s set in part in Uganda). In advance I’d expected that I wouldn’t find it offensive but it did make me feel it was slightly on the inappropriate a couple of times. There was also a fair bit of rude humour which I was expecting as it’s written by the creators of South Park.

When we were waiting for the lift out of the theatre another lady waiting asked if we’d enjoyed it. It should have been on for a month and she told us she was hoping to get tickets for a later performance to see it again. Carolyn and I both said we’d enjoyed it but aren’t desperate to see it again. If, in a few years, it tours again I might go. But for now I enjoyed it, I’m glad I saw it and that’s enjoy.

Coming home we got the train Birmingham Moor Street via Banbury. I couldn’t get a wheelchair space out of New Street when I booked my assistance. I’d been thinking about trying the train from Moor Street for ages and it worked very well. It’s a quieter, smaller station very quaint looking. And the trains are lower and easier to get on and off of. It’s just a real shame that the train that runs all the way between here and Banbury and back only runs once every two hours and doesn’t always work so well timewise.

It’s not up there on my list of favourite musicals (I’ve seen a lot of them so I have a lot to compare it to) but it was fun. If you like musicals and have an open mind I would recommend Book of Mormon.

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