The show’s successful transfer to the West End in December, following a UK Theatre Award-winning premiere at the Bristol Old Vic, has seen the darkly gothic and heart-rending production extend its performance dates in Theatreland.
Based on the classic Victor Hugo (Les Misérables) novel The Man Who Laughs, the musical love story, set in a fantastical world with a dark heart, has been brought to life by Kneehigh writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog In A Suitcase) and is scored by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler.
One day, a strange new act arrives at the fairground. At first paraded as a freak, and then celebrated as a star, can he find true love in the sightless girl, the only person who can see him for what he is? Helped by an old man, a lone wolf and a blind girl, his story must be told.
The production reunites director Tom Morris with two puppeteers who began their careers inside Joey and Topthorn in the original production of War Horse – Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié – now leading their own puppetry company Gyre & Gimble.
The Grinning Man is led by Louis Maskell in the title role of Grinpayne and Sanne den Besten as Dea, with Julian Bleach as vengeful clown Barkilphedro. Also starring are Sean Kingsley, Julie Atherton, Amanda Wilkin and Mark Anderson.