Following its hugely successful premiere at Bristol Old Vic, the critically acclaimed new musical The Grinning Man has transferred to the West End and “demands to be seen” (The Times).
From Tony Award-winning director Tom Morris (War Horse), Kneehigh writer Carl Grose and featuring “an outstanding score” (Sunday Times) by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, The Grinning Man is a magical reimagining of the classic novel by Victor Hugo (Les Misérables).
What Is The Grinning Man About?
A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Paraded as a freak, then celebrated as a star, only the love of a sightless girl can reveal his terrible secret.
Set in a fantastical world created by designer Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), and brought to life with the “astonishing puppetry” (What’s on Stage) of Gyre & Gimble, the original War Horse puppeteers, The Grinning Man invites you to be seduced by the darkness at the Trafalgar Studios.
A touching and vibrant plot combined with an amazing cast, great scenery and incredible puppetry. Terribly beautiful.
fantastic!! Loved every minute and so did the audience giving standing ovations. could be classed as a light classical musical in my opinion. the comedy and tragedy of the storyline were brilliantly played would thoroughly recommend seeing this show to anyone margaret
So sad this show is over... Fantastic cast and crew, writers and musicians. It has so many contrasting/opposing themes that work so well together? The community around this show is so unique and I have loved every minute of it's run since December.
I never usually leave reviews, but I do for the grinning man because I feel like it needs to be appreciated. It has now closed (May 5th 2018), and I’ve seen the fanbase and audiences grow and grow and it warms my heart. It is the best show I’ve ever seen, and I love every single person involved, everything about the show was perfect, and a cast recording will be released at some point soon, so go check that out! And if there is a revival, you HAVE TO GO! And I’ve said this when it was open, and I’m right, you should have gone. I love this show beyond belief, best music, lyrics, dialogue, people, everything
Brilliant show and energetic and committed performance from all members of the cast.
This show cannot be compared easily with any other. The entire theatre has been dressed to create the atmosphere for the dystopian drama/love story/horror musical that is the Grinning Man. While all the cast fully deserved their standing ovation, special credit must be given to the leads. The Grinning Man himself was simply exceptional in his ability to portray such a range of emotions given the limitations of the character. His puppet-like actions were really eerie and created a feeling of otherness. Dea was simply superb as his muse. Her portrayal of a blind girl was enthralling and touching in equal measure. This show is simply one of the best I have ever seen (and I have seen a lot) and deserves a bigger audience. The problem there is that it works so well in a small theatre that one is concerned that a larger venue would lose much of its unique appeal. I am so glad that I got to see it before the end of its run. I will be returning if the Grinning Man returns- bringing others with me to witness this unique theatrical experience.
I have seen this so many times now and it continues to enthrall and surprise me every time! It's a dark, hilarious, moving, heart-pumping roller coaster of a show, with exquisite set designs, a stunning score, a cast that works together flawlessly and absolutely incredible performances from everyone. Seriously, go and see it before it's over on the 5th May!
Excellent, moving, beautifully presented with imaginative sets and puppetry.... Loved it.
Such tremendous performances throughout this amazing piece. It is a very dark story interspersed with some light and lewd comic moments. Not one to bring the kids to, but brilliantly done. Having discovered the score on Soundcloud I’ll be listening again and again and reliving an extraordinary evening.
The show was amazing, I went for the first time last week and begged my parents to let me go again before it finished, so I went yesterday. Come back soon, I will be the first one to book tickets.
Absolutely brilliant show.
Must go and see. Excellent all round
What an amazing show. From the minute you walk in and see the set it blows you away. I haven’t enjoyed a show this much for a long time. The puppetry was amazing, songs catchy and the physical aspect of the acting was incredible. I kept forgetting that Mojo was a puppet. I was fully absorbed into GrinPains world.
Absolutely amazing! The songs are beautiful, plenty of drama, plenty of comedy, great actors , gorgeous puppetry and beautiful scenography! Louis Maskell is spectacular as the Grinning man !
An electric performance, and absolute must-see!
This is a brilliant musical I have seen 3 times. It is dark, eerie, humorous and heart wrenching. A story told through traditional theatre and I loved it. Highly recommend it.
I thought the show one of the best i saw . It represents real musical theatre with raw talent, so many shared emotions, a gorgeous set and costume, simple and brilliant and the puppetry...absolutely fantastic. I found the performance of Louis Maskell hypnotising, with such an original voice and the rest of the cast had such passion, their passion acting through song was phenomenal with such magical music that i thought to be the best i´ve heard to date. With such a brilliant plot, performers, set design, puppetry, costumes and music i can´t see why it´s closing in london and i found it genius.
Was visually stunning. Beautiful singing and performance from the actors & puppeteers. Really enjoyed the show and would highly recommend!!
Utterly bonkers and absolutely brilliant! Loved it from beginning to end. Fabulous performances!
We'd heard so much about how good this show is, that we were desperate to see it before the end of it's run! And we weren't disappointed. It was all we had anticipated it to be. Very atmospheric and imaginative set and lighting, great songs, wonderful vocals, and superb performances all round, veering from tragic & heartbreaking, to laugh out loud comedy.
Not sure what to expect but found this show funny / sad / musical / great. Puppets were so good, I forgot about the people controlling them. Theater was fabulous.
Enjoyed the show, the cast were full of energy and brought the characters to life. The wolf puppeteers were excellent.
It immersed us in the dark world of Victor Hugo with the magic of puppetry, all encompassing staging and songs that linger long after we left the theatre. The Trafalgar Studio made us feel part of the experience as the actors appeared in the audience at certain moments including a finale which led to a standing ovation. It’s frightening and funny with a supremely talented cast. Imagine Terry Gilliam crossed with a penny dreadful and add a dash of the grotesque. Highly recommended.
Very bizarre and amdram . We left at the interval.
grinning man, the show itself, demands to be seen, and I demand you to see it. This magnificent show, filled with sensational voices and beautiful puppetry, sets and costume, and actors. I never usually leave reviews, but you have to go and see this , and If you have already, go again. Sadly this brilliant show closes on May 5th of 2018, so catch it before it’s gone!! You will not regret it, and it was be a brilliant and insanely enjoyable night.
Excellent actors, scenery imaginative. The puppeter dog was very realistic. A very enjoyable performance. Have recommended it to all our friends. Sad, funny at the same time.
I didn’t expect to enjoy it (went with a friend who likes musicals, I don’t) but it has everything. - comedy, plot, special effects, great songs, a surprise a minute. Might go again.
Came along to the show and thought it was great! Very well acted, worked very hard. Very different. Kept you engrossed throughout. Well done.
The hound Mojo and Duchess amuzed and delighted me greatly...wanted more from the clown he was stifled a tad by his role...maybe a spin off or a prequel? ? The Grin Pain had a few irritating nuances twisting his hand backwards...?? What's that all about Overall a solid 6 / 10 Bring on the Clown!
Beautiful aesthetic to the performance . Thanks set design and builders! I have to say all the performances were great but the main characters control his body was truly astounding! Have no idea how you move like that! Well done all!
Best piece of theatre for many a year - Grinpayne is exquisite
To be honest, I didn't do much research into the play before buying the tickets, however I found the storyline quite bland. The actors have brilliant talent and some of the characters were very funny but I feel that the story itself was quite weak. Could have done more!
Amazing! Fantastic cast. The puppets were mesmerising, the Wolf constantly breathed.
Having read unusually mixed-and occasionally pretty damning-reviews, I was a little sceptical about “The Grinning Man”. However, the production was inventive, touching, scathing, relevant and appropriately morally ambiguous which brought the period piece right into our world. Having heard the music was merely libretto, I felt it was very well integrated into the other elements of the piece. Of course, the staging a puppetry were superb. Thoroughly enjoyable!!!
Really enjoyed this piece. The music is fantastic, the characters are engaging, especially The Clown. The puppetry is the best I’ve seen since Warhorse too. Well worth making the effort to catch this little gem before it finishes.
This show was spectacular! The puppetry was something I've never experience before and my god was it brilliant. The lead role was not an actor, however he was infact Grinpayne. He made me feel and believe ever ounce of his character, one of the best, if not, the best actors I have ever had the pleasure to watch. His attention to every fine detail and his presence and persona on stage was just fantastic. All the performers we brilliant, they brought the right amount of humour and sorrow, I honestly cannot talk more highly of it. Loved it and will be seeing it again next week and managed to intruge 4 other friends to go along and watch it too
I was spellbound by the entire performance. It was all the right amounts of funny, enchanting and gripping. I would highly recommend this, especially if you are a fan of Tim burton-esque stories.
My daughter and I have seen many musicals, but this was so different we were both enthralled! It was a perfect mix of comedy alongside the more serious storyline and it was brilliantly acted by the whole cast. Louis Maskell's voice was unbelievable and his physical representation of Grinpayne was intriguing to watch. We would highly recommend this to everyone.
I loved everything about this musical! Amazing vocals, good acting, stunning visuals and wonderful storytelling! 'The Grinning Man' is a wonderfully weird and wickedly wild new musical based on Victor Hugo's 'The Man Who Laughs' that tells the story of the hand-made freak Grinpayne and his hideously beautiful face. Was definitely one of my highlights during my visit in London! Highly recommended!
one of the best musicals i've ever seen. innovative music, wonderful actors and simply moving and funny
Lovely intimate theatre. Exceptional cast. Nice to see a different kind of musical. The puppetry was excellent. The only downside was the drunk lady that had to removed at the interval , for shouting out and being a nuisance. The staff dealt with it in a quick and efficient manner.
Was fab ... Great singing and amazing putter work ☺
Didn’t know what to expect from this show as usually go to the lively musicals in the West End. However this was a good show - some great humour- puppetry very good too! Would recommend.
Where do I start!? The staging and decoration of the studio was amazing! I actually felt like I was on the set. This got me excited straight away. When we booked the tickets, we had only seen a short clip video which captivated us immediately. We didn't know anything about the storyline, we just knew we had to see it. From the moment the music started and the spoons where being played we were engrossed. What an amazing show, The Grinning man literally takes you through every emotion. The use of the space in the studio was incredible. What an amazing story, what an fantastic cast, what a spectacular evening xXx
Unexpectedly delivered the hype...genuinely fantastic show; rivetting from the first word, excellent acting, dialogue, music&lyrics, twisting plot, stylish costumes, lighting&production, darkly comic, macabre, shocking, poignant, risqué, skilled puppetering, may even top my favourite Les Miserables...highly recommended Don't take my word for it, go see it!
One of the best shows I have seen in years. Made us laugh and cry
All I can say is WOW.... Oh my gosh it was absolutely brilliant! Great cast, fantastic puppets and a Super duper set!!! Would definitely reccomend it to anyone. Go and see it NOW!!
Loved every minute of it. Funny , sad and comical. It embraced the location of the theatre and the puppetry was fantastic . An amazing story told well in this lovely intimate theatre. Well worth seeing .
No exchanges or refunds after purchase.
How Does It Work
You will receive a voucher after purchase. Please print and present on arrival.
Suitable For Children
Age Restriction: Recommended for brave 12 year olds and above. Some scenes contain sexual references and swearing.
When Can I Go
5 December 2017 - 14 April 2018
Where Do I Go
Closest Tube: Charing Cross and Embankment (Northern and Bakerloo)