Discover the magical yet dark world of The Grinning Man

Updated on 9 October 2023

Just what exactly is hiding behind Grinpayne's mysterious grin? Perhaps it's all the show's rave reviews! See why the critics are going mad about this tragicomic musical.

Award-winning West End musical The Grinning Man recently announced in January that it would be extending its run at Trafalgar Studios until 14 April 2018. The show has been universally acclaimed by critics.

The new musical, which is a magical reimagining of Victor Hugo's classic novel, The Man Who Laughs, follows new carnie act Grinpayne, who is treated as a freak for his mysteriously hideous smile before eventually becoming a star at the fairground. Meanwhile, a visually impaired girl may be the only key to unlocking Grinpayne's horrible secret.

The Grinning Man premiered at the Bristol Old Vic last year with huge success before transferring to the West End in December, scoring a fleet of five-star reviews. The critics, bloggers and audiences are raving about this London hit. 

The Observer called it "fabulously theatrical" while What's On Stage said, "[The show] is as satisfying and heart-wrenching as anything you might see on stage at the moment."

The London theatre production features the "best puppetry since War Horse" (Mail on Sunday), reuniting Tony award-winning director Tom Morris with Finn Caldwell and Toby Olié, who now run their own Gyre & Gimble puppetry company.

Many celebrities have weighed in on the show's riveting production. Mel Giedroyc, a frequent presenter for the Eurovision Song Contest, stated that The Grinning Man was "clever and haunting" and admitted, "I want to see it again." Harry Enfield declared, "The whole thing is amazing."

The Grinning Man is one of several recent shows from the Bristol Old Vic to transfer to London's West End, including Peter Pan and Jane Eyre at the National Theatre, Swallows & Amazons at the Vaudeville, and the Wyndhams Theatre production of Long Day's Journey Into Night, starring Lesley Manville and Jeremy Irons.

London Theatre Direct has teamed up with The Grinning Man to bring you a unique and easy Twitter competition. All you have to do is retweet our tweet for your chance to win two tickets to The Grinning Man!

The prize also includes two programmes, two free drinks during the interval, and two signed posters. The tweet will be pinned to the top of our Twitter page on Friday, 9 March 2018.

For a direct link to our tweet, click here. The winner of this retweet competition will be announced on Friday, 16 March 2018.

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Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

By Nicholas Ephram Ryan Daniels

Ephram is a jack of all trades and enjoys attending theatre, classical music concerts and the opera.