It had such success during its 2016 run at the Bristol Old Vic, we already knew it would be a fantastic addition to the London theatre scene! Based on Victor Hugo's 1869 novel L'Homme Qui Rit (The Man Who Laughs), THE GRINNING MAN officially received its London premiere this week (18 December 2017) at the West End's Trafalgar Studios and is capturing the hearts of audiences and reviewers alike. Whether it's the puppets, the haunting score or the fantastic lead performance from Louis Maskell, we've rounded up some of the best reviews for your pleasure and perusal...
The Independent - ★★★★
Paul Taylor: "Les Mis established that Victor Hugo wrote the kind of high-powered, theatrical novels that beg to be the basis for blockbuster musicals. Joey and War Horse confirmed the allure of puppets as heart-wringers in stage shows. Now these two strains have been brought together in a new musical that, despite its illustrious antecedents, is wholly its macabre, distinctive self..."
The Telegraph - ★★★★
Claire Allfree: "Immerses the audience deep in a ghoulish, carnivalesque aesthetic. Designer Jon Bausor frames the small wooden stage with an open, leering mouth. Knock-kneed percussion and nifty double bass provide keening, eerie accompaniment...A dark-hearted Christmas treat..."
London Theatre - ★★★★
Will Longman: "While Louis Maskell’s face is covered for most of the performance, he’s still able to deliver a monstrously emotive performance...The show’s rather triumphant finale is underpinned by chants of “hallelujah, praise to the Grinning Man”, and I’d be inclined to agree..."
MyTheatreMates > 'A rare & genuine theatre magic'
Maryam Philpott: "However much theatre you see, it is rare to find something that is truly magical, and in the week before Christmas few things will gladdened the heart as completely as Bristol Old Vic’s production of The Grinning Man...it is in this half-way world between fantasy and reality that something entirely unexpected happens, a genuine festive warmth emerges from this tale of broken humanity, sending even the most hardened audience members home with thoughts of goodwill to all men..."
First Night Takeover: The Grinning Man at Trafalgar Studios
Our #FirstNightTakeover series continues with Perry O'Bree attending the West End premiere of macabre musical masterpiece THE GRINNING MAN. He interviews three of the show's stars Louis Maskell, Sanne den Besten and Amanda Wilkin, as well as fellow #StageFave Hannah Waddingham, who recently recorded her own version of one of the show's songs....