Theatre News

Mark Anderson and Julie Atherton join The Grinning Man at Trafalgar Studios as full cast is announced

The show has been updated for its West End run after a spell at the Bristol Old Vic

Mark Anderson, Julie Atherton and Louis Maskell
Mark Anderson, Julie Atherton and Louis Maskell
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Full casting has been announced for the West End production of The Grinning Man, which opens at Trafalgar Studios in December.

Sanne den Besten (Les Misérables, Mamma Mia!) joins the cast as Dea, best friend of lead protagonist Grinpayne. Alongside her are Mark Anderson (The Toxic Avenger), Julie Atherton (Avenue Q), Jim Kitson (Much Ado About Nothing), Sophia Mackay (The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin) and Amanda Wilkin (Hamlet). Completing the company are James Alexander-Taylor, Christina Bloom, Jonathan Cobb, Leo Elso, Claire-Marie Hall, and Loren O'Dair.

The new cast members join four principal returning cast. Louis Maskell (My Fair Lady, West Side Story) leads the cast as Grinpayne, the show’s hero. Julian Bleach (St George in the Dragon, Shockheaded Peter, The Tempest), Sean Kingsley (Les Misérables, Billy Elliot) and Ewan Black (Sleeping Beauty, The Merchant of Venice) will all also return.

Directed by Tom Morris (War Horse), artistic director at Bristol Old Vic, the new musical is based on the novel The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo, and is about a new act at the Stokes Croft fair – a hideously beautiful man. The show opened at Bristol Old Vic in December 2016, picking up a nomination for Best Regional Production at the WhatsOnStage Awards.

In our review of last year's show, Matt Trueman wrote it was 'dark and stylish, it has the best British score in years'.

The Grinning Man runs at Trafalgar Studios from 18 December with previews from 6 December.

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