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Confessions of a Mormon Boy Review

Josh Learner gives it a thumbs up, but longs for something a little less predictable

Written by . Published on September 13th 2011.

Confessions of a Mormon Boy Review

CHARING Cross Theatre has a certain charm. Located just off of Villiers Street, you can almost walk past it without realising it’s there. However, once you enter the building you definitely know where you are with its moody, dark lighting and comprehensive wooden interior. The clashing sound of glasses summoned me to the quaint realms of the back bar for a quick stout before entering the auditorium to watch Jack Hofsiss’s Broadway hit Confessions of a Mormon Boy.

Having had a successful run of sold out performances across the pond – San Francisco, LA and Chicago to name but a few – Steven Fales (playwright/performer) has recently brought the production to the UK with a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe. Fales tells his story through a solo performance, giving an honest and sometimes disturbing portrayal of his journey from a model Mormon upbringing in Utah to a high rolling prostitute in New York. 

Starting off examining his early days as a Mormon, Fales begins to convey the influence his republican parents and the church had on his mental isolation as a closet homosexual. With this comes a rather amusing reenactment of him going to see a counsellor about his ‘disease’. The story continues with Fales finding himself in a seven year marriage with kids. As entertaining and talented as Fales is, you can’t help but feel the whole thing is a little predictable on occasions. Case in point: Fales finally confesses his secret to his wife resulting in excommunication from the Church of the Latter Day Saints. 

With the marriage ruined, Fales moves to New York with one finger firmly on the self-destruct button. A run in with crystal meth and a journey into a life as a sex worker are but a few of Fales’s shortcomings and yet again there’s an inevitability that everything is going to be alright. And sure enough it is. Having said that, technically, the production is exemplary with smooth sound effects and impressive changes in lighting and there’s no doubt that Fales will prosper as an actor. The only issue is, is that I’d felt like I’d seen it before, if you know what I mean.

5th – 24th September
Written and performed by Steven Fales
Original direction by Jack Hofsiss

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