Meet the Mormons: Missionaries make the most of Theatre Royal show

Missionaries outside the Theatre Royal using the smash-hit production 'The Book of Mormon' to promote their faith.

Missionaries outside the Theatre Royal in Norwich - Credit: Archant

Missionaries manning the street outside the Norwich Theatre Royal are looking to make the most of audiences heading out of smash hit show The Book of Mormon.

Despite the musical portraying the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in a comical light the worshipers have taken the high road and used the buzz for a recruitment drive. 

The award-winning production opened up at the theatre on January 26 and runs until February 5.

And the sold-out shows have been a "great opportunity" for missionaries to spread their word, they said.

Steve Carruthers, the former bishop of the LDS Church in Eaton, said: "I'm not interested in watching the show but I know some of the things it covers.

Steve Carruthers says the Book of Mormon has helped promote their faith

Steve Carruthers says that the show has helped promote the mormon faith - Church of latter - day saints in Norwich - Credit: Steve Carruthers

"I'd rather not have a play generating its humour by poking fun at missionaries and their work but at the end of the day it is.

"So we think it's a great opportunity to go out and talk to people about us and the church.

"Our main purpose is to help people find Jesus Christ."

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He added: "The show's popularity helps us promote our faith.

"Everyone is in good spirits after the show - we even have some posters advertising ourselves - saying 'You've seen the show, now read the book' and 'The book is always better' which have gone down well.

"People have laughed along with that and it has given us a chance to share our pamphlets about what the actual Book of Mormon is all about."

Mormons promote their faith in response to The Book of Mormon

The LDS Church are using The Book of Mormon's buzz to produce some clever adverts to promote their faith. - Credit: Steve Carruthers

In Theatre Street audiences can expect to find elder Michael Randle who along with his group of missionaries after the curtain goes down. 

The American missionary said: "It's been really fun. We've haven't had any negative comments thrown towards us.

"Occasionally someone will smirk at us.

"Most people actually think we're part of the show or a member of the cast - we certainly look the part.

"For the most part people are really nice - some are curious and come up to ask questions - which has allowed us to hand out a few of the actual books."

Michael Randle, from the church of the latter - day saints says being outside the theatre has been "really fun overall".

Michael Randle, a missionary for the LDS Church - Credit: Archant

What is the Book of Mormon play about?

The original staging of 'The Book of Mormon' was released back in March 2011.

It was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the duo behind South Park.

The musical follows the plight of two missionaries from the LDS Church who travel to Uganda to spread their message. 

The pair are portrayed as somewhat clueless and have to work hard to make their mark in a war-torn village. 

The production was the winner of nine Tony awards including best musical, best score, best book and best direction.

Meanwhile the LDS Church has been around far longer - founded by Joseph Smith in New York State in 1830.

The founder said he had a revelation from God, who asked him to transcribe writings from the Prophet - which then became known as the Book of Mormon.