Did You Eat (2023), Greenside @ Infirmary Street, Review

Actor Zoe Kim sits on the floor, palms in prayer, looking up.
Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Seoulful Productions
Zoë Kim (Playwright; Co-producer); Chris Yejin (Director); Kayla Kim Votapek (Co-producer)
Zoë Kim (Daughter, Mother, Grandmother)
Running time

Exploring the challenges of being a child torn between two cultures – that of her parents (Korean) and that of her upbringing (America) - Did You Eat is a deceptively simple, beautifully nuanced, semi-autobiographical piece of theatre. Written and performed by Zoë Kim with impressive physicality, this is the show for anyone who has tried to walk the tightrope of pleasing parental expectation and that of their own hopes.

With minimal props and a simple black box staging, what director Chris Yejin has done is allow the story to flow clearly between the past and present. Writer/performer Kim demonstrates an impressive skill in switching between daughter, mother, and father, bringing alive the easily identifiable characters. The changes seem effortless, as without even a change of clothes, the difference in posture, movement and attitude are obvious to the audience.

The show deals with difficult subjects via the flow through storyline of the language of love, discussed and demonstrated in many ways. There is gentle and heartfelt interaction with the audience (nothing to fear, no audience participation) broken up by harsh portrayals of sexist and racist behaviour. Yet this merely sets up to show the flaws of upbringing through the ages, that has then been passed on to the current generation… Or has it? 

The show is presented partly in Korean with no translations. These are not required as the tone and physicality make clear the intention behind the words. Fans of K-drama who may be expecting a show closer to the lightness of the genre are likely to be in for a few surprises, although they should recognise key phrases. Despite the darker subject matter there is humour sprinkled throughout but best bring tissues for the unexpected: this is a show not to be missed.

Show Time: 4-26 August (not 13, 20) @ 19:35

Greenside @ Infirmary Street (aka South Bridge Resource Centre)

Ticket Prices: £10-£12