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Kim’s Convenience review | Corner shop transformed into a theatre of life and identity

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If you are looking for a show that will make you laugh, cry, and think, then you should not miss Kim’s Convenience at the Park Theatre. This play, written by Ins Choi, is based on his own experience as a son of Korean immigrants who ran a convenience store in Canada. It is also the inspiration for the hit Netflix series of the same name, which has won many fans around the world.

Corner shop transformed into a theatre of life and identity

The play follows the life of the Kim family, who own and operate a corner shop in Toronto. The father, Appa, played by Ins Choi himself, is a proud and stubborn man who loves his store and his country, but has trouble connecting with his children, who have different dreams and values. His daughter, Janet, played by Jennifer Kim, is a talented photographer who wants to pursue her passion, but feels pressured by her father to take over the store. His son, Jung, played by Brian Law, is a rebellious young man who left home after a fight with Appa and now works at a car rental company. His wife, Umma, played by Namju Go, is a sweet and supportive woman who tries to keep the peace in the family and reconcile Appa and Jung.

The play is a perfect balance of comedy and drama, as it tackles the issues of immigration, family, and identity with humour and heart. It also features some of the memorable scenes from the TV show, such as Appa’s hilarious rant about the Japanese, his encounter with a suspected shoplifter, and his romance with Umma. The dialogue is witty and sharp, and the actors deliver it with impeccable timing and expression. The play also has a lot of warmth and charm, as it shows the love and loyalty that the Kim family have for each other, despite their differences and conflicts.

The set, designed by Mona Camille, is a stunning replica of a convenience store, complete with snacks, drinks, and posters. It creates a sense of realism and authenticity, as if we are watching the play in a real shop. The lighting, designed by Jonathan Chan, enhances the mood and atmosphere of the play, switching between bright and dim, depending on the scene. The set and the lighting are some of the best I have seen in a theatre, and they add to the overall quality of the production.

Kim’s Convenience is a play that celebrates the Korean Canadian community and the universal theme of family. It is a play that appeals to both fans and newcomers of the TV show, as it offers something original and fresh, while staying true to the spirit and essence of the source material. It is a play that you will enjoy watching, and that will stay with you long after you leave the theatre.

Kim's Convenience review | What the critics think

“Ins Choi’s comedy set in a Korean Canadian shop has an irresistible charm, despite at times feeling like a best-sketch montage from its TV forerunner.”
Arifa Akbar, The Guardian

“This is a wonderful production, a marvellous opportunity to bring an Asian story to a London stage, and hopefully to stages much further afield.”
Bronagh, Theatre and Tonic

“It’s an impressive chameleon turn, and one of several eye-catching performances, notably Choi’s, who captures all of Appa’s flawed but deeply felt humanity.”
Theo Bosanquet, WhatsOnStage

“This slick comedy about a Canadian-Korean convenience store is good fun if somewhat redundant if you’ve seen the Neflix sitcom spin-off.”
Anya Ryan, Time Out

How to buy Kim's Convenience play tickets in London?

Looking for budget-friendly tickets for Kim's Concenience play in London? Book your tickets online! Enjoy last-minute availability, choose your seats using the Park Theatre seating plan, and skip the queues by booking at your convenience.

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