OPERATION MINCEMEAT invades the West End!

The worst kept secret in years has finally been announced. In March 2023, Spitlip’s singularly hilarious cultish comedy musical OPERATION MINCEMEAT (based on the true story of an incredible WW2 mission) opens for 8 weeks only at the Fortune Theatre. My instinct is that it will have several extensions before it even opens. (Note, added Nov 20th – I see the run has already been extended by a further eight weeks. Undoubtedly it will be further extended).

The hype has helped its announcement. It will be interesting to see how the show, whose previous homes have been the 80-seat New Diorama and the 200-seat Southwark Playhouse (as well as Riverside Studio) will sit in the 432-seat Fortune Theatre. The theatre is renowned for its intimacy (something often lacking in the formality of West End spaces) but nevertheless this run may experience a new physical removal from the audience which they will have to navigate. This could rein back the show’s connection with audiences it has had in its previous black box outings, but I have a feeling that the all-round strength of this zany new musical will overcome all obstacles and win through, as the original plan of the mission did.

“…has the potential to become one of those rare theatrical cult hits.”

Unrestricted Theatre review, July 2019. You saw it here first, friends!

Tickets are blanket priced at a reasonable £35 across the house for March/April, rising in May onwards, creating a buyer momentum while spreading the word about this unique show which those who attend will undoubtedly want to bring their friends to. I hope that the higher ticket prices won’t put people off trying this inventive and sometimes challenging musical which at times makes BOOK OF MORMON feel tame.

Crucial to the speed and smartness of delivery of the crisp music and super-sharp lyrics, one hopes that the sound challenges – in getting each word to the back and top of a 400-seater – will be overcome by using the best sound team they can afford.

It’s important to praise not only the huge amount of work which has gone into refining this chunk of theatre gold, but we must also acknowledge that the show was originally commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, and co-commissioned by The Lowry, Salford. It was supported by the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. Later, additional support and full commercial exploitation came from Avalon.

You can read my first (2019) review of OPERATION MINCEMEAT here

Find out more and book tickets for the West End run here

“must have a headmust be a man

Find out what it means at OPERATION MINCEMEAT


Read my Autumn Theatre Preview in BARBICAN LIFE magazine

Those of you who live in, near or visit the Barbican Centre, you may be interested to know that the Barbican Estate’s engaging magazine produced by the Barbican Association, BARBICAN LIFE, features a number of interesting articles.

I have been contributing Theatre Previews of events in and around the Barbican Centre for several years now. The Barbican Centre hosts a wide-ranging collection of productions which are always interesting, with many visiting companies from around the world adding to an eclectic programme of home-grown and Barbican Associate- generated projects. A trip to the Barbican Centre is always an illuminating one.

Read my latest Theatre Preview here


Read my Summer Theatre Preview in BARBICAN LIFE magazine

Those of you who live in, near or visit the Barbican Centre, you may be interested to know that the Barbican Estate’s engaging magazine produced by the Barbican Association, BARBICAN LIFE, features a number of interesting articles.

I have been contributing Theatre Previews of events in and around the Barbican Centre for several years now. The Barbican Centre hosts a wide-ranging collection of productions which are always interesting, with many visiting companies from around the world adding to an eclectic programme of home-grown and Barbican Associate- generated projects. A trip to the Barbican Centre is always an illuminating one.

Read my latest Theatre Preview here


Out of the Wings Play Festival returns to Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre

The ever-popular Out Of The Wings Festival returns to Clapham Omnibus next week, presenting six plays over five nights to in-person, live audiences.

This is a rare opportunity to enjoy writing from the Spanish- and Portuguese- speaking world, here translated for the very first time into English.

The plays from this year’s Festival are

DOUBLE BILL: COMPLETE SEX + COSMICA

13 JUL

Complete Sex

We are constantly asked to fill in forms, tick boxes and put things in black and white. But identity and gender are more complex. Not being able to tick a box doesn’t make us incomplete, quite the opposite, it can transform, empower and complete us.

Cosmica

It’s the first day of the final year of secondary school. Meisa lost her spots over the summer. Barrientos is late. And Juan still knows all the answers. Three teenagers feel the first blows of love, cruelty and kindness as they float somewhere between the classroom and the cosmos.


YOU SHALL LOVE

14 JUL

Do doctors have enemies? Do they treat everyone equally? Do they prefer one kind of patient over others? In You Shall Love, a group of doctors prepare their exposition for a conference on humanitarian aid. In the process enquiries and tensions will surge questioning their ideas on diversity, enemy and violence.


SHOPPING CENTRE PARADISE

15 JUL

Adam and Eve are in Paradise – a multi-storey shopping centre that claims to offer everything they want. But Adam can’t afford anything, and Eve desires it all. A funny, searching play that asks how to be happy in a world that is constantly demanding us to want more.


SHELTER

16 JUL

In an apparently mundane context, a few people start disappearing, who knows where, who knows why. A woman, alongside her husband, tries to understand what’s going on. As she dives into an ever-growing and unending search for answers, the path leads her to learn that perhaps she may never really find them.


THE THERAPIST

17 JUL

How do you look at the enemy in the eye? A Human Rights lawyer, accustomed to solving unwanted cases, receives an unusual proposal: to organise a yoga workshop for the leaders of Peru’s most notorious terrorist groups, who are serving life sentences in a maximum-security prison since the early 90s.


You can also take a look at Out Of The Wings’ interesting website here