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War Horse

Following its hugely successful premiere at Bristol Old Vic where it received nightly standing ovations, the critically acclaimed new musical The Grinning Man transfers to the West End for a limited season only.


From Tony Award-winning director Tom Morris (War Horse), Kneehigh writer Carl Grose and featuring “an outstanding score” (Sunday Times) by Tim Phillips and Marc Teitler, The Grinning Man is a magical reimagining of the classic novel by Victor Hugo (Les Misérables).


A strange new act has arrived at the fairground. Who is Grinpayne and how did he get his hideous smile? Paraded as a freak, then celebrated as a star, only the love of a sightless girl can reveal his terrible secret.


Set in a fantastical world created by designer Jon Bausor (Bat Out of Hell), and brought to life with the visually stunning puppetry of Gyre & Gimble, the original War Horse puppeteers, The Grinning Man invites you to be seduced by the darkness from 6 December.  

The best puppetry since War Horse”- Mail on Sunday

Comic brilliance”-Daily Telegraph

Defies theatrical convention by keeping its hand on its heart and its tongue in its cheek”- Guardian

A dark delight”- Daily Mail

‘Defies theatrical convention by keeping its hand on its heart and its tongue in its cheek.’ - The Guardian

Blackly comic brilliance.’ - Daily Telegraph

Weird and wonderful, a dark delight.’ - Daily Telegraph

'An extraordinary amalgam of fairytale, puppetry, romantic drama and black comedy' - StageTalk

Simply beautiful, utterly brilliant”-Bristol 24/7

Booking Period: Wednesday, 20th February 2019 - Saturday, 23rd February 2019



Dates & Tickets

Wednesday, 20th February 2019 Sunderland Empire

Thursday, 21st February 2019 Sunderland Empire

Friday, 22nd February 2019 Sunderland Empire

Saturday, 23rd February 2019 Sunderland Empire