Kim’s Convenience

332 Reviews

Star Travel Rating

4/5

Review type

Things to do

Location

Date of travel

November, 2023

Product name

Kim's Convenience

Product country

Canada

Product city

London

Travelled with

Group

Reasons for trip

Culture/Sightseeing

If you have ever seen the Canadian situation comedy called Kim’s Convenience, you may be interested in seeing the play on which the series was based. The play was first seen at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival. I had never seen the television series but when the play was on in London, Ontario late last year, some friends and I decided to check it out. Though they have been to a number of plays in Niagara on the Lake and Stratford, Ontario, it was their first time attending a performance at the Grand Theatre – a lovely old theatre in downtown London, Ontario.

Written by and starring Ins Choi, Kim’s Convenience is set in Toronto in a neighbourhood convenience store. Choi’s parents are Korean – his father from the north and his mother from the south. They met after his father (along with thousands of others) fled the north during the Korean War. In 1975 they came to Canada with their three children and lived above a convenience store in Toronto with family. Choi says that “(t)his play is a love letter to my appa [father] and umma [mother] and to all first-generation immigrants who call Canada home”. It is at times sad and at times funny as it demonstrates the struggles of immigrants to fit into their new society while also holding onto their culture and history. Even if you don’t identify as an immigrant, you will identify with the family dynamics between parents and children, the latter trying to strike out on their own, and between siblings with varying senses of duty to their parents.

Denise Bridge

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