Quick Review: Operation Mincemeat, Southwark Playhouse

I end up liking, rather than loving Spitlip’s Operation Mincemeat at the Southwark Playhouse

“Step to the left
Jump to the far-right”

I’m very much the Johnny-come-lately to Spitlip’s Operation Mincemeat, revived here at the Southwark Playhouse after a run at the New Diorama last year which saw them slowly build up a head of steam that has resulted in award-winning success. I had my opinion swayed by a couple of people who didn’t enjoy it but with their return, I decided to go along and make up my own mind.

In a nutshell, I thought it was good, excellent in places, but quite a bit too long. Based on a real-life secret mission from WWII, it plays fast and loose with the conventions of musical theatre to create something that defies genre. From song to song we move through a wide range of MT references – a bit of Hamilton here, The Producers there, and it all sounds great – there’s just a lot of it and its focus isn’t always the sharpest.

A result perhaps of its devised origins from writer/composers David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoe Roberts, or the lack of a credited director? I’m not sure, and in some ways it is almost churlish to criticise them since they’re all clearly having so much fun – Cumming, Hodgson and Roberts are joined by Claire-Marie Hall and Jak Malone in the deftly multi-roling ensemble.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes (with interval)
Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown
Operation Mincemeat is booking at the Southwark Playhouse until 11th January, and then returns 14th – 23th May

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