ONLY the creators of South Park could take a scalpel to religion and yet have you bouncing out of the theatre about its power to unite.

The Book of Mormon has been a Broadway and West End sensation thanks to its sarcastic – but actually also quite endearing – take on Mormonism and its outrageous content.

It also does not hurt that Trey Parker and Matt Stone teamed up with Robert Lopez, of Frozen fame, on the excellent music and knowingly funny lyrics.

Finally on its first UK tour and currently at Manchester's Palace Theatre, it is worth heading to your seat with a healthy dose of cynicism about organised religion.

You definitely need an open mind too as the musical has a lot of content that is controversial, provocative and offensive when taken out of context.

Parker and Stone have been fascinated with the power and peculiarities of religion for years – you just need to look at various episodes of South Park, particularly their Scientology saga.

But the strength of The Book of Mormon is that it not only rips apart the flawed logic of the faith and its ridiculous elements but shows how religion can be a force for good in terms of uniting people and giving them a shared purpose and positive way of life.

The Tony, Olivier and Grammy award-winning musical follows a pair of Mormon boys sent on a mission from their home in Salt Lake City to Uganda to baptise people into The Church of Latter-day Saints.

While there, Elder Price (Kevin Clay) and Elder Cunningham (Conner Peirson) discover that Africa is 'nothing like the Lion King'.

Young stars Clay and Peirson were a perfect double act as the self-absorbed wonder boy and bumbling but loveable Star Wars geek respectively.

Will Hawksworth as the repressed Elder McKinley and Ewen Cummins as Kitgali village's welcoming but weary Mafala Hatimbi also stood out.

And if any of the cast had nerves about the first press night of Mormon's first UK tour they did not show. It was a flawless performance all round with the cast and crowd alike having bags of fun

The Book of Mormon is at Manchester's Palace Theatre until August 24. Visit