3rd March 2023 – Following five sold-out development runs at the New Diorama Theatre in 2019 and Southwark Playhouse in 2020, 2021 & 2022, plus an extended Riverside Studios run last summer, the full cast and creative team for the West End premiere of Operation Mincemeat – a new musical, is announced today. Previews start on the 31st March, followed by an 8-week run beginning on the 9th May 2023, after thirty-three hugely successful years of The Woman In Black at the Fortune Theatre.

2023 Olivier Award nominated Robert Hastie (Standing at the Sky’s Edge, National Theatre) is director, following providing directorial support for the Riverside Studios run, while Olivier Award nominated Jenny Arnold (Jerry Springer: The Opera, National Theatre) continues as choreographer. Also joining from Standing at the Sky’s Edge at the National Theatre on the creative team are: 2023 Olivier Award nominated  Ben Stones (Sylvia, The Old Vic) as set and costume designer, Tony Award, six-time Olivier Award and Bafta Award winning Mark Henderson (Girl From the North Country, Broadway & Noël Coward Theatre) as lighting designer and Olivier Award winning Mike Walker (Jerry Springer: The Opera, National Theatre) as sound designer. Grammy Award winning and Tony, Emmy, Olivier award nominated Steve Sidwell (Beautiful: The Musical, Broadway & Aldwych Theatre) is orchestrator and vocal arranger. Georgie Staight joins Robert Hastie as Associate Director.

Understudies joining the previously announced 2023 Off-West End ‘Best Musical Production’ award winning returning cast, David Cumming, Claire-Marie Hall, Natasha Hodgson, Jak Malone and Zoë Roberts, are: Seán Carey (returning from the Hammersmith Studios run), Geri Allan, Christian Andrews and Holly Sumpton. Casting is by Pearson Casting.

Operation Mincemeat is written and composed by David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson and Zoë Roberts, who form SpitLip. The show is presented in the West End by Avalon (in association with SpitLip), who have supported since the Southwark Playhouse runs, alongside New Diorama Theatre and The Lowry.

Director Rob Hastie said “I’m a big fan of SpitLip’s work, and fell in love with Operation Mincemeat from the start. I’m thrilled to have been working with the team to help develop the show since its run in Hammersmith, and we’re all looking forward to the next stage of its evolution as we share this joyous story with the West End. I’m delighted to be getting back into the room with SpitLip and the company. They’re everything you hope a gang like that will be – innovative, creative, collaborative, daring, excellent taste in rehearsal snacks.”

SpitLip said “We are staggered and amazed at the amount of talent now propping up our sweaty, gnarled bodies. The light from their reflected glory is absolutely blinding and we plan to bathe in it for as long as physically possible. West End, let’s go!”

Jon Thoday for Avalon said “we’re very excited to be chosen by SpitLip to help bring this show to a wider audience at the Fortune Theatre in the West End”


Praise for Operation Mincemeat at Southwark Playhouse and Riverside Studios:

“a dazzling series of gender-switching roles…a Beyoncé-esque assertion of female power…excellent performers… There are some big, blowsy shows around in the West End, but this little belter is staging its own audacious invasion plan” ★★★★★
Suzi Feay, Financial Times

“a miraculous musical that tells the entire story in a kind of accelerated farce that is part Mel Brooks, part SIX, part Hamilton with a side order of One Man, Two Guvnors.” ★★★★★
Neil Norman, The Daily Mirror

“the stage show’s comic power rests in its ability to subvert expectation and provide a revisionist commentary on the establishment figures”
Emma John, The Observer

“a buzz louder than a doodlebug surrounds Operation Mincemeat…a kind of genius declares itself”
Dominic Cavendish, The Daily Telegraph

“this is the musical you didn’t know you needed…a little show with a very big future.”
David Benedict, Variety



Tickets are on General Sale now from the Official Box Office at OperationMincemeat.com. Priority access to the best seats is available via the official mailing list. Press nights on Tuesday 9th and 10th May. Places are limited. Please get in touch if you would like to attend.


The year is 1943 and we’re losing the war. Luckily, we’re about to gamble all our futures on a stolen corpse.

Singin’ in the Rain meets Strangers on a Train, Noel Coward meets Noel Fielding, Operation Mincemeat is the fast-paced, hilarious and unbelievable true story of the twisted secret mission that won us World War II. The question is, how did a well-dressed corpse wrong-foot Hitler?

Operation Mincemeat won The Stage Debut award for Best Composer/Lyricist, the Off-West End award for Best Musical Production and Best Company Ensemble and following the first New Diorama Theatre run was listed in The Observer’s Top 10 shows of the year and most recently was listed in The Independent’s Top 15 shows of the year.  The show is currently featured in the V&A’s Re:Imagining Musicals display, exploring how musicals have continuously reimagined, reinvented and reinterpreted themselves over time.

The show was commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, co-commissioned by The Lowry, and supported by the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat with additional support from Avalon.


For press enquiries and further information please contact Victoria Wedderburn on 07557160139 or VWedderburn@avalonuk.com and Jasmine Ruparelia on JRuparelia@avalonuk.com



More praise for Operation Mincemeat:

“actors hurl themselves into the frenetic fray, multitasking with little more than a few strings of telephone wire and some clever lyrics…Amid many breathless japes there is a beautiful song about lost love, Dear Bill.”  ★★★★
Quentin Letts, The Sunday Times

“A dazzling musical masterpiece… Ingenious, inventive, a brilliant role-swapping cast, great songs, and the true story of a macabre MI5 plot against the Nazis. What more do you want…this ceaselessly inventive musical scarcely puts a foot wrong: get booking, on the double” ★★★★
Sam Marlowe, The i

“as daring as it is comic… a staggeringly high-energy explosion… It has all the subtlety of an M4 Sherman tank crashing its way from one sketch to the next – and is all the better for it… a totally brilliant musical… funnier than Hamilton… exceptional.” ★★★★
Isobel Lewis, The Independent

“But whoof! It blew the roof clean off. Hoots and tears welcomed this ingenious, touching musical. Taut lyrics, vintage gags, a wild tale and tunes that followed me out into the night air, in hums and whistles. Perfection… An artisanal masterpiece” ★★★★★
Luke Jones, The Daily Mail

“A masterclass of macabre musical comedy, masterfully performed.” ★★★★★
Tim Bano, The Stage

“Madcap and utterly marvellous…This taut and tiny production roars in the face of bloated West End blockbusters. An Absolute triumph.” ★★★★★
Stefan Kyriazis, The Sunday Express

“A finely varied score, and lyrics that shame most big musicals.” ★★★★
Susannah Clapp, The Observer

“Few theatrical success stories have been more heartening than the rise and rise of this quirky musical… a snappy production… high comedy mixed with some genuinely touching moments”
Hugh Montgomery, Metro

“Right now, it’s Operation Mincemeat that has people talking. With a huge number of 5* reviews the fast-paced, hilarious production centres around the most bizarre true story you’ve ever heard.”
Daniella Scott, Cosmopolitan

“surprising depths… deliciously rackety…takes you by surprise at every turn, with many clever ideas that come off”
Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard

“less a ripping yarn than one entirely torn to shreds.” ★★★★
Holly Williams, Time Out

“an absolute must-see” ★★★★★
Chris Selman, Gay Times

“SpitLip could go stratospheric. Operation Mincemeat has proved to be one of the most exciting musical theatre debuts in decades.”
The Stage

“currently killing it at Southwark Playhouse”
Lyn Gardner, Stagedoor

“Move over Hamilton and Six. There’s a new historical musical in town and it’s creating ripples…the West End needs to take notice ASAP.” ★★★★★
Cindy Marcolina, Broadway World

“This production has a heart of gold. West End impresarios should check it out immediately.”
Lloyd Evans, The Spectator

Neil Norman, Daily Express

Stefan Kyriazis, The Sunday Mirror

“Glows with theatrical invention and delivers laughs by the gallon. Unmissable.” ★★★★★
Alex Wood, WhatsOnStage

“musical theatre heaven” ★★★★★
Craig Glenday, Musical Theatre Review

“Showcases the utterly bonkers plot in the most fantastical way… cannot recommend it enough – perfectly cast… beyond doubt one of the most brilliant, funny, captivating shows with proper laugh-out-loud moments… you won’t be disappointed”
Zara Janjua, The Sun


Notes To Editors

The last musical produced by Jon Thoday for Avalon, Jerry Springer: The Opera, led to a prosecution for blasphemy. Jon is hopeful Operation Mincemeat will have a happier conclusion.

Other adaptations of the real-life World War II operation, Operation Mincemeat, include: –

  •   Operation Heartbreak (book, 1950) by Duff Cooper, former Cabinet minister
  •   The Man Who Never Was (book, 1953) by Ewan Montagu
  •   The Man Who Never Was (film, 1956) based on the book by Ewan Montagu
  •   Operation Mincemeat (book, 2010) by Ben MacIntyre
  •   The Man Who Never Was episode of The Goon Show (1956)
  •   Operation Mincemeat (play, 2001) by Adrian Jackson and Farhana Sheikh
  •       Operation Mincemeat (film 2022) starring Colin Firth and Matthew Macfadyen


Listings Information

Official Box Office

Fortune Theatre
Russell Street

Nearest Tube: Covent Garden (Piccadilly Line)


Previews from 31st March
9th /10th May (press nights) – 8th July
Monday to Wednesdays at 7.30pm
Thursday to Saturdays at 8pm
Tuesday and Saturday Matinees at 3pm

See venue website for full schedule.

Ticket Prices
Group rate available for every show – please visit website for further details.

Keep up to date on social media
Twitter/ Instagram: @MincemeatLive @spitlip #OperationMincemeat #GodThatsBrilliant @FortuneTheatre1



Book, Music & Lyrics
David Cumming, Felix Hagan, Natasha Hodgson, Zoe Roberts

David Cumming, Claire-Marie Hall, Natasha Hodgson, Jak Malone, Zoe Roberts, Gerri Allan, Christian Andrews, Sean Carey, Holly Sumpton


Director                                           Robert Hastie
Choreographer                              Jenny Arnold
Set & Costume Designer              Ben Stones
Lighting Designer                          Mark Henderson
Sound Designer                             Mike Walker
Orchestration & Vocal
Arrangement                                 Steve Sidwell
Casting Director                            Pearson Casting
Musical Director & Piano            Joe Bunker
Keyboard & Deputy MD              Ben Cox
Bass Guitar & Bass Synth            Rachel Espeute
Drums & Percussion                     Lewis Jenkins

Associate Director                        Georgie Staight
Associate Choreographer           Paul Isaiah Isles
Company Stage Manager            Ali Wade
Deputy Stage Manager                Helen Clarkson
Assistant Stage Manager             Amy Mellor

Head of Sound                               Josh Smith
Deputy Sound                                Jessica Cluff

Technical Supervisors                  Pat Molony & Kate West
Prop Supervisor                             Marcus Hall Props
Costume Supervisor                     Lydia Hardiman
Associate Lighting Designer &
Programmer                                  Stuart ’Stacy’ Cross
Associate Sound Designer          Chris Simpson
Production Carpenter                  Tom Humphrey
Carpenters                                    James Boston
Production Electrician                 Martin Chisnall
Electricians                                   Lee Threlfall
David Stone
Production Sound Engineer        Ryan Griffin
Sound Engineers                          Maxim Gamble
David Leonard
George Lumkin
Agency Crew                                  First Call Crew
Costume Makers                           Academy Costumes
                                                          Velia Ansorg
                                                          Amberley Hunt
                                                          Bella Collins
Costume Artwork                         Maya Stevenson
Orchestral Management             Andy Barnwell & Richard Weeden for BW Musicians Ltd
Keyboard Programming              Dan de Cruz
Vocal Coach                                   Jo Marshall
Music Copyist                                Richard Sidwell
Advertising                                     AKA & SINE
Publicity Design                             Bob King Creative
Accountant                                     Lois Hargreaves for Collins & Co
Bookkeeper                                   Michelle Brooks
Insurance Broker                          Robert & Michael Israel for Gordon & Co
Legal Representation                   Clintons LLP
Set construction & Finish            Rocket Scenery
Lighting Equipment Hire             Sparks Theatrical
Sound Equipment Hire                 Loh Humm Audio
Rigging Equipment Hire               Unusual Rigging
Transport                                       Paul Matthews Transport
EJS Logistics

For Avalon

Producer                                         Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner
Executive Producer                       Andrew Fell
Associate Producers                     Celia Dugua & Julien Matthews
Press                                                Victoria Wedderburn & Jasmine Ruparelia
Marketing                                       Sophia Surjadi & Joe Arditti
Creative lead                                  Carl Fraser-Lunn
Legal                                               Grainne Perkins
Finance                                            James Wilkins
Producers Assistant                      Mary-Grace Bunker