Review: Operation Mincemeat –  Fortune Theatre

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A triumph of musical theatre

‘I don’t know what’s going on!’ ‘Welcome to the British government!’ 

No, it’s not 2024, it’s 1943 and things aren’t looking good for Britain. But Charles (‘I’m not new! I’ve been here for 6 months!’) Cholmondeley has a plan to win the war – he just needs a corpse, an elaborate paper trail, and to speak up for himself a little bit (and avoid mentioning newts, if possible), writes Mary Bradshaw.

Operation Mincemeat has got everything – a healthy dash of self-deprecating humour; caricatures of self-proclaimed geniuses; mockery of cultural stereotypes; touching character development; quick quips; tear-jerkers; feminism, and a lot more besides.

Christian Andrews, Claire-Marie Hall, Chloë Hart, Emily Barber, and Seán Carey are awe-inspiringly versatile. They switch costumes, accents and mannerisms in the blink of an eye. Every song (no matter how fast the tempo) is word – and pitch – perfect. Plus, they dance to Jenny Arnold’s slick choreography with unwavering energy.

They leap from Tango to quasi-Gangnam Style, from rap to ballad to anthem, creating an addictive dynamism and providing the lucky audience with endless visual delights.

Look out for Hester Leggett’s love letter, the submariners, ‘our man in Spain’, the coroner, the ‘glitzy finale’ and the tribute to Glyndor Michael at the end of this tale of quiet heroism.

Head to the intimate Fortune Theatre, buckle up, and prepare to be bedazzled by 2024’s best new musical, now in its ninth extended run (the Olivier Award and WhatsOnStage awards should speak for themselves). 

You’ll see that MI5 are not the only geniuses. 

And if you’re constantly picked on to make the tea at work, remember the line: ‘Sarge, you’re in charge of your own hydration!’

Operation Mincemeat, directed by 2023 Olivier Award nominee Robert Hastie.

Fortune Theatre until 18th November 2024.

Balloted tickets can be won for performances from 18th November to 25th January 2025.

Lottery tickets are also available.

Full details and booking:


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