The Grinning Man Extends its West End run

8 Jan 2018

Following a triumphant premiere as part of the Theatre’s 250th Anniversary season, Bristol Old Vic is delighted to announce that The Grinning Man, which transferred to Studio 1 at Trafalgar Studios in December 2017, has extended its West End run until 14 April 2018. Accompanying it in London is Bristol Old Vic's "intense, electrifying production" (Mail On Sunday) of Long Day's Journey Into Night, starring Jeremy Irons and Lesley Manville, which opens at Wyndham's Theatre on 27 January.

A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Helped by an old man, a lone wolf and a blind girl, his story must be told. The epic tale of an abandoned child with a terrible secret. A disfigured youth who is desperate to hide and a sightless girl who longs to be discovered. Let the darkness seduce you.

The Grinning Man is a macabre new musical directed by Tom Morris and based on The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo (Les Misérables). Brought to life by writer Carl Grose (Dead Dog in a Suitcase), "powered by an outstanding score" (The Sunday Times) from Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler and puppetry from Gyre & Gimble, the original puppeteers of War Horse. The cast is led by Louis Maskell and Julian Bleach, who have reprised the roles of Grinpayne and Barkilphedro for the London run.

After gaining cult-like status amongst Bristolians who caught the show at Bristol Old Vic, the production garnered major award nominations (WhatsOnStage Awards, UK Theatre Awards, BroadwayWorld UK Awards) and a flurry of critical acclaim ("blackly comic brilliance" The Telegraph, "defies theatrical convention" The Guardian) proving laughter really is the best medicine.

Tickets are now on sale.

A special limited allocation of tickets are available directly through Bristol Old Vic by calling 0117 987 7877 or visiting Tickets can also be purchased in person at Bristol Old Vic Box Office.

Further tickets are available through ATG tickets on 0844 871 7632 /

Download images from the West End cast here. Credit photographer Helen Maybanks.

Bristol Old Vic is the longest continuously running theatre in the UK, and celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2016. The historic playhouse aims to inspire audiences with its own original productions, both at home and on tour, whilst nurturing the next generation of artists, whether that be through their 350-strong Young Company, their many outreach and education projects or their trailblazing artist development programme, Bristol Ferment.

They use their funding to support experiment and innovation, to allow access to their programme for people who would not otherwise encounter it, or be able to afford it, and to keep their extraordinary heritage alive and animated.

On 24 Sep 2018, Bristol Old Vic completed its 2-year multi-million pound redevelopment project, which transformed its front of house space into a warm and welcoming public building for all of Bristol to enjoy, created a new studio theatre and opened up its unique theatrical heritage to the public for the first time.

Press Office: 0117 949 4901 |