Photo: Matt Crockett

If you’ve still not heard of Operation Mincemeat… where have you been? We’re huge fans of the hit West End musical here at GAY TIMES – we reviewed the 2021 run at the Southwark Playhouse, the 2022 run at Riverside Studios and 2023’s West End transfer at the Fortune Theatre – each time awarding it a perfect 5/5. Don’t just take our word for it, though: it’s been a hit with pretty much all the critics – it’s the best-reviewed show ever to grace London’s West End, and has already picked up both the Olivier Award and the What’s On Stage Award for Best New Musical.

It tells the true story of a World War II mission involving a high-risk deception strategy – but we don’t want to say any more, as the show is so much better if you don’t know what’s coming next. This week we returned to the Fortune Theatre to check out the new cast, after most the original cast – including some of the show’s creators – took a well-earned rest, having been performing this musical pretty relentlessly since theatres reopened post-lockdown.

We’re delighted to report that the new cast is excellent. Well, it’s a mostly new cast – Claire-Marie Hall has stayed on in the role of Jean Leslie (and others), and is just as great as ever. For the performance we saw, Emily Barber, Seán Carey, Chlöe Hart and Christian Andrews joined the cast; Holly Sumpton, George Jennings, Geri Allen and Jonty Peach are also part of the company. For those unfamiliar with the show, each actor plays a ‘lead’ part but also multiple other smaller roles – it all looks hugely demanding and often requires near-instant on-stage changes, which our quintet deliver effortlessly.

We don’t really know what else to say about Operation Mincemeat that we haven’t said before – it features five actors powering through about two-and-a-half hours of some of the most inventive theatre you’re ever likely to see, telling a brilliant story at the same time, and it’s practically overflowing with wonderful songs. Did we also mention that it’s very, very funny? It’s playing at the Fortune Theatre and is currently booking through to January 25th 2025.

More information can be found here.