The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, with nearly 3,500 shows. This year, Playbill is in Edinburgh for the entire month in August for the festival and we’re taking you with us. Follow along as we cover every single aspect of the Fringe, aka our real-life Brigadoon!
What would make you want to murder someone? Well for Fiona Yu, the main character of the new hit Edinburgh Fringe musical Hello Kitty Must Die, it's a lot of things. It's her parents trying to marry her off, her boss' casual racism, and the general indignities of living as an Asian woman in a white patriarchal society. So with some encouragement from a childhood friend, Fiona decides to revolt through...murder.
Hello Kitty Must Die is based on the novel by Angela S Choi (who has since changed her name to Kate Kamen). It features a book by Gail Rastorfer and Kurt Johns, and a score by Cecelia Lin. It stars an entire cast of Asian women. And it's been one of the hottest tickets at the Edinburgh Fringe, selling out quickly and so in demand that shows have been added. It helps when it's funded by the producer of Six: The Musical. But it also helps that audiences are game for the show's wild concept, which is a brutal and comedic satire that was like if American Psycho was told through the point of view of an Asian woman.
In a time when Asian characters revolting and behaving badly are having a moment in American entertainment (think Netflix's Beef and the film Joy Ride), Hello Kitty Must Die is definitely an of-the-moment musical.
Which is why Playbill was so excited to get a behind-the-scenes look at the show. The Edinburgh Fringe requires you to move fast. Every venue at the festival is jam packed with shows every day, with each show getting only an hour to make an impression. That means that a performer needs to set-up, perform, and then strike their show in about 90 minutes. Follow below for how the Hello Kitty Must Die team set up, performed, and striked the show.
The cast arrives to their venue in the Pleasance Courtyard already in costume. They stretch before the show begins, and do a mic check.
There's no dressing room, so any costume changes are done on the stage.
After a crazy short warm-up time, it's show time!
The cast only had a few weeks to learn the show, but the vocals are fire.
A fast hour later, the show is over! A majority of shows at the Fringe only get an hour to showcase their work. That's not a long time to make an impression.
See more photos of Hello Kitty Must Die below. The show continues through August 27 at Pleasance Courtyard, and all performances are sold out—which means that you will likely see Hello Kitty again soon.