New musical The Grinning Man has had its run extended until Saturday, 14 April at the Trafalgar Studios, London.
The show, which is supported by Bruno Wang Productions, has proved a hit with critics and the public alike. The Guardian has praised its “miraculous puppetry” and the Express called it “gloriously enjoyable”, while audiences offer a standing ovation at the end of each performance.
The Grinning Man is directed by Bristol Old Vic artistic director Tom Morris, who created the multi award-winning show War Horse. Puppetry company Gyre & Gimbal, who were also involved in War Horse, have brought their special expertise to this production, too.
The story is based on L’Homme Qui Rit by Victor Hugo and tells of how a young boy called Grinpayne comes to terms with his own disfigurement when he joins a travelling freak show.
Grinpayne is played by Louis Maskell, alongside Julian Bleach (co-creator of Shock-Headed Peter) as the court jester Barkilphedro and Dutch actress Sanne den Besten (most recently seen as Sophie in Mamma Mia), who plays Grinpayne’s blind true love Dea.
The show features music from Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, with lyrics by Carl Grose, Morris, Phillips and Teitler. It premiered at the Bristol Old Vic in December 2016 and won a nomination for Best Regional Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards.