GM1  GM2  GM3  GM4

05 Dec 2017 – 05 May 2018
Trafalgar Studios

13 Oct – 13 Nov 2016
Bristol Old Vic

4 star
The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Observer, The Sunday Times, The Independent, Daily Mail, Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday

“The puppetry by Gyre & Gimble is superb.”
The Times

“The best puppetry since War Horse.
Mail On Sunday

“Best of all is the puppetry, notably an awe-inspiring wolf, half-human and half-marionette.”
Sunday Express

“It certainly looks beautiful – whether in the achingly expressive marionette version of Grinpayne as a child or in the wonderfully moving Mojo, a skeletal grey wolf.”
The Independant

“The puppetry is miraculous, ranging from a miniature re-enactment of Beauty and the Beast to a wolf so consistently lupine that only in retrospect do you realise that you have been bewitched.
The Observer

A Bristol Old Vic and Trafalgar Entertainment Group production







Based on The Man Who Laughs by Victor Hugo

“One small smile can change your world.”

A strange new act has arrived at the Trafalgar Fair, a grotesque oasis of entertainment. Soon everyone from the gutter rats to the Queen has fallen for the freak Grinpayne and his hideously beautiful face. But who is he really? And how did he come to possess such a gruesome smile? Together with an old man, a blind girl and a wolf, he has a past to uncover. A tale so tragic and twisted that not even he can guess how it will end.

This production was Gyre & Gimble’s first collaboration with Tom Morris since War Horse and featured many forms of puppetry. From a shadow puppet prologue, to bunraku-inspired incarnations of young Grinpayne and Dea as well as a puppet/performer hybrid in Mojo the wolf.

Creative Team

Writer Carl Grose
Music & Lyrics Tim Phillips & Marc Teitler
Director Tom Morris
Set Designer Jon Bausor
Costume Designer Jean Chan
Puppetry Design & Direction Finn Caldwell & Toby Olié
Associate Puppetry Director Rachel Leonard
Movement Director Jane Gibson
Lighting Designer Richard Howell
Sound Designer Simon Baker
Music Supervisor Tom Deering
Puppet Fabricators Nick Barnes, Daisy Beattie, Dulcie Best, Caroline Bowman, Marc Parrett, Hugh Purves, Zosia Stella-Sawicka & Tim Sykes

Original Cast

Grinpayne Louis Maskell
Dea Audrey Brisson
Ursus/King Clarence Sean Kingsley
Mojo a wolf Stuart Angell & Alice Barclay
Barkilphedro Julian Bleach
Duchess Josiana Gloria Onitiri
Lord David Dirry-moir Stuart Neal
Queen Angelica Patrycja Kujawska
Lord Trelaw/Osric Ewan Black
Lady Trelaw/Quake Gloria Obianyo
Band Stu Barker, Pete Flood, David Guy, Ross Hughes & Tarek Merchant

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