Kim’s Convenience Returns to Park Theatre with Irresistible Charm and Hilarious Comedy

London’s Park Theatre is currently hosting Ins Choi’s comedy drama, “Kim’s Convenience,” a production that originally started as a play on the Toronto fringe before becoming a hit Netflix series. The show revolves around a Korean Canadian family running a convenience store and explores themes of immigration, parental sacrifice, and generational differences. While the cast is different from the TV show, with Choi himself taking on the role of the outspoken father, Appa, the production retains the look and feel of a live TV studio recording. Directed by Esther Jun, the show is a well-oiled machine, delivering comedy, superb acting, and a warm story that resonates with audiences.

The story crams elements from the five seasons of the TV series into just 80 minutes. It focuses on Appa’s relationships with his daughter, Janet, who he wants to join the shop instead of pursuing photography, and his estranged son, Jung, who left home years ago. Jennifer Kim portrays Janet with feisty energy, and Choi shines as Appa. However, some critics claim that Namju Go’s portrayal of Umma, Appa’s wife, lacks the same character depth as seen on screen.

One of the highlights of the production is Mona Camille’s set design, which replicates a local supermarket with incredible attention to detail. From lotto card adverts to linoleum-covered aisles, it immerses the audience in the show’s world. Some scenes in the play, such as Appa’s grudge against the Japanese or the “steal or no steal” scene involving a Black man, are replicas of moments from the TV show that fans will find familiar.

Theatre adaptations of television shows have become increasingly popular, mirroring the episodic structure and feel of the small screen. “Kim’s Convenience” takes this trend to the apex, creating a theatrical experience that captures both traditional theatergoers and fans of the Netflix series. The show runs at Park Theatre in London until February 10.

In summary, London’s Park Theatre is currently showcasing Ins Choi’s comedy drama, “Kim’s Convenience,” which first started as a play before becoming a successful Netflix series. The production effectively captures the essence of the TV show, delivering comedy, superb acting, and a warm story. It touches on immigrant experiences, family dynamics, and generational differences. Despite some differences in the cast, the show remains highly entertaining and enjoyable.