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REVIEW - Hello Kitty Must Die (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023)

Updated: Apr 24

Pleasance Courtyard

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Hello Kitty Must Die Musical

From the producers of SIX and The Play That Goes Wrong, the wickedly dark comic musical 'Hello Kitty Must Die' is set to be the smash hit of the 2023 Edinburgh Fringe.


Based on the cult novel by Angela S. Choi, 'Hello Kitty Must Die' is the best written show I have seen at the fringe so far this year.


A complete drama, a riveting narrative, a musical full of humour and sass; there's nothing quite like it and I adored it.


Fiona Yu is a Chinese-American lawyer struggling against the stereotypes enforced upon her by her parents, and society. A good Chinese girl must cook and clean, a good Chinese girl must not do 'boy activities', a good Chinese girl must get married (soon!) and she must do as everyone pleases but herself.


In 'Hello Kitty Must Die' we follow Fiona as she rebels in the most delicious, diabolical ways.


The cast of Hello Kitty Must Die. Photo credit: Justin Barbin

I did not expect the twists and turns that this musical took. And for that reason I will say no more about the plot other than it was like watching an hour of a great TV drama. Seemingly throw-away comments later resurfaced as important plot points - a skill I recognise and admire from the best crime thriller writers. It's this kind of tight and clever writing that will keep audiences engrossed. I grinned all the way through and applauded with disbelief at how deftly the story had been told.


There is absolutely no set, no costumes and no props in this production. It relies completely on the strength of the book and of the performers. Actors Sami Ma, Lennox T. Duong, Jully Lee, Ann Hu and Amy Keum all excel in their roles, most playing multiple characters with confident finesse. It just goes to show what can be achieved when the base material is this strong.


The cast of Hello Kitty Must Die. Photo credit: Justin Barbin

For a musical, unusually, the score did not matter much to me. The songs were great, but none really stood out as a show-stopper. They fit the situations and advanced the storyline well, but I wasn't singing any on the way home.


I was however bowled over by the tale I'd just been told and encouraged by the message of empowerment it imparts to young women, Chinese or otherwise.


Hello Kitty Must Die is a story by an Asian American woman, about an Asian American woman, performed by Asian American women. It’s in an outrageous proclamation on Asian feminism and a breath of fresh air in the musical theatre world.


Author Kate Karmen, formerly Angela S. Choi, comments:

"With Hello Kitty Must Die, I wanted to rip into the stereotype that Chinese women were quiet, submissive, subservient. I just wanted to present a fresh, different, albeit psycho voice that said: See!? Even little yellow girls can be sick, twisted, and dark."


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Hello Kitty Must Die CAST and CREATIVES


Cast: Sami Ma, Lennox T. Duong, Jully Lee, Ann Hu, Amy Keum


Novel by Angela S. Choi, now Kate Kamen

Production Company Alchemation

Co-Adaptor Gail Rastorfer

Co-Adaptor Kurt Johns

Composer Cecilia Lin

Lyricist Jessica Wu


Notes

Ages 16+, contains sexual content, violence and strong language


📸 Production photos: Justin Barbin


When and Where?


Hello Kitty Must Die musical review

Performance Dates: Wednesday 2nd – Sunday 27th August 2023 (not 8th, 15th, 22nd)

16:50

Running Time: 1 hour

Location: Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Two), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ

Tickets are available from www.pleasance.co.uk

Weekday: £14 (£11.50) Weekend: £16 (£14.50)



 

REVIEW: Hello Kitty Must Die, Musical Theatre at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2023


🎟️ Disclosure: I am an Edinburgh Festival Fringe accredited media reviewer and as such I receive complimentary press tickets in exchange for my honest reviews. My reviews and star ratings are always my honest opinions.


📧 For media and review requests contact Lisa_InTheTheatre@outlook.com

💗 To see more pictures and watch my videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram

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