I think such a gripping title as Hello Kitty Must Die would entice anyone into what this production may be about. And it for sure wasn’t what I expected.
Hello Kitty Must Die is a feminist musical, combating the patriarchal stereotypes in the female and Asian communities but also throwing in dark humour and a bit of… murder.
This musical takes the said stereotypes, giving examples but turning these on their head, with a satirical but unapologetic approach. As a non-asian person, it was interesting and eye opening to hear how Asian women are treated in their own cultures as well as western cultures. The mixture of the two, including the opportunities in both, compete with one another and this transpires on stage, satirically making fun of these but subtly highlighting the issues with these thoughts.
As a musical, the voices are beautiful, powerful and harmonise well. However, I find with a lot of musicals, and those particularly in smaller venues, that the music often overpowers them and so some of the words were missed for me. Catchy in rhythm, they just lacked what was obviously important commentary on the story-line and the feminist opinions.
The actors were brilliant and those who were not the main character did well to jump and change into different characters throughout, embodying these physically and vocally. However, the story begins to be a commentary on how particularly Asian women are expected to be perfect, virginal and live for their husbands. When the narrative somewhat changes to a murder spree, it feels disconnected and a little out of the blue. The moral is in essence that any woman, especially a stereotyped Asian woman can take back their control and be above white men, but it felt a little of an abrupt narrative tact to take. There was no shock to it, nothing surprising with the ending and left us wanting a lot more.
Hello Kitty Must Die is fun, it is professional and full of talent in the singing and acting, but felt a little lost in what the narrative was meant to achieve.