“A love story to die for.”
I’ve always been a lover of the theatre. From a young age, I remember my parents taking me to various shows, ranging from my sister’s school plays to outstanding plays performed in the West End. So when my mum told me that she’d booked us tickets to see a brand new show in London this week, I was over the moon.
On the surface, ‘Grim’ already looks like a rather interesting play – it follows the character of Grim (otherwise known as the Grim Reaper) who goes to a little town to fulfil her tasks of taking the souls of the dying, but her plans are firmly thrown off-course when she meets none other than Cupid himself. And then the story takes a turn for the unexpected. Cupid finds himself instantly taken by Grim, and vows to have her return his bold affections. However, Grim is unused to the behaviour of others; being the Angel of Death, she is accustomed to darkness and loneliness, and so at first, Cupid’s advances are unwelcome and she quickly rejects him, much to his dismay.
But then, she meets Amelia. A timid girl who is often ridiculed by her classmates, Amelia is more withdrawn than ever after the devastating death of her baby brother, of which she blames herself for, due to his dying in a fire after she left him in his room with a candle so he wouldn’t be afraid of the dark. But then, after admitting all of this to Grim, Amelia is given some precious advice from the Reaper, who tells her that as long as her intentions were never bad, then she has nothing to feel guilty for. She never meant for her brother to die, and so she is not responsible for the tragic happening. Grim reassures Amelia that her brother’s death was a severely unfortunate accident, but that it was not Amelia’s fault. This moment forges a strong bond between the girls, and for the first time in their lives, they are both thrilled to have someone to call a friend. Amelia then talks some sense into Grim and convinces her to talk to Cupid, which sparks some much-overdue feelings of affection between the pair.
But then, things take an ugly turn. The other students are wary and fearful of Grim and her strange aura, and they’ve noticed that the death toll has risen noticeably since she moved to town; they vow to be rid of her before she can wreak any more havoc, unaware that she is bound by her responsibility as the Angel of Death and that taking the souls of people causes her a great amount of pain and guilt.
As the story builds to a climax, Grim realises that she cannot be with Cupid, for anyone she ever gets close to ends up befalling a terrible fate. She bids him farewell, saying the same to Amelia, who is grief-stricken at the loss of her friend, but knows that it’s for the best.
However, Grim does not anticipate the sudden consequences of her rejection of Cupid; so when she finds him close to death after attempting to take his own life, she is horrified. But, she knows that if she doesn’t take his dying soul to be with her in the afterlife (as was his plan) then he will be forever lost in a state of limbo; and so she takes him.
This is a surprisingly happy ending, though – Cupid’s death, while sad, means that he and Grim can finally be together. Clad in matching black robes, they exit the stage together during the final scene, their love plain for all to see.
All in all, this was a highly enjoyable production, with beautiful staging and a wonderful cast; it was captivating from start to finish, and had some surprisingly funny moments too. So if you’re ever in London and you fancy seeing a show, I definitely recommend taking a trip to see ‘Grim’. With an enchanting vibe that extends to other great productions like Wicked, this is one event that is not to be missed. And if you’ve never been to the theatre before now, then you could use this as your first experience – and I’ll be damned if you don’t leave the theatre with a huge grim– I MEAN, grin, on your face.
5/5 – Oh, and just to add further incentive – did I mention that it’s a fantastic musical too?! Showcasing a cast with voices as sweet as honey and as powerful as a herd of stampeding bulls, the soundtrack to this show is hauntingly beautiful and will make the hairs on your arms stand on end in the best way possible.