Operation Mincemeat

It’s fast paced, full of laughs and a delight to behold"

Have you heard of ‘Operation Mincemeat’? No, I’m not talking about the World War Two operation in which members of MI5 used the body of a homeless man and a faked identity along with fake documents to disguise the 1943 allied invasion of Sicily, I’m talking about the brand new hit musical currently playing at The Fortune Theatre! Yes it sounds like an unlikely source material for a musical but this tale of espionage and clever planning makes for a great show! With a cult following (called ‘Minfluencers') and a glittering script, music and lyrics from writers David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts, this show is one not to be missed!

We meet the real life secret agents, Charles Cholmondeley (David Cumming) & Ewen Montagu (Holly Sumpton), who formed the plan when tasked with finding a way to defeat Germany in the war. Along with a fellow MI5 agent Ian Fleming (Zoë Roberts), the secretary Miss Hester Leggett (Jak Malone) and ‘Tea Girl’ Jean (Claire Marie Hall) they form an unlikely group who just about save the day!

One of the best things about this show is the vast array of characters they all play. The acting skills on show here really are out of this world. Each actor takes on at least 4 other characters, each one vastly different from the last. Everyone works so closely together on stage, achieving mind blowing quick changes which last mere seconds, tricky tangling choreography which delights the audience and beautiful group songs with wonderful harmonies.

In particular Jak Malone as Bernard Spilsbury is a stand out act bringing a dark humour to the scenes he’s in. Jak also plays Hester Leggett, a seemingly older secretary who gets dragged into the farce rather unwillingly. In this role Jak gives us the standout song of the evening ‘Dear Bill’, an incredibly emotional song which Jak performs incredibly, showing off his vocal range along with marvellous acting talents.

Holly Sumpton is a marvel as Ewen Montagu, wonderfully portraying the egotistical public schoolboy persona with ease whilst maintaining the comedy elements that are so important to the piece as a whole.

The set and costume design from Ben Stones is perfectly in keeping with the style of show. It’s fun, loud and works wonderfully to show off the writing and musical numbers. With easy transformations and quick changes a lot of work has gone into the design of the piece and it really pays off!

The pure delight about this show is the farcical nature. It’s fast paced, full of laughs and a delight to behold. If you were concerned about the subject matter, don’t be. It’s a story which is told respectfully with great taste and an educational tone to it as well. Don’t miss out on this truly fantastic piece of theatre!

This show was reviewed on the 12th July 2023.  Operation Mincemeat runs at the Fortune Theatre, London until the 4th November 2023.  Tickets available here: Operation Mincemeat

Review written by Rosie Browne

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Photo credit: Matt Crockett

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