One Man Two Guvnors, a play by Richard Bean with songs and music by Grant opened in 2011 at the National Theatre, starring James Corden, Oliver Chris, Jemima Rooper, Daniel Rigby and Tom Edden. The play which went on to get five star reviews from every London newspaper was directed by Nicholas Hytner and featured songs and music throughout the show. Onstage band The Craze, fronted by Grant, played before the show, in between each scene, and through the interval, performing original skiffle and beat songs on themes from the show in the style of the early 60's.
One Man Two Guvnors went on to sell out all performances at the NT and after a short sell out tour it transferred to the Adelphi Theatre in the West End with the original cast and band. Four sell out months later, the show moved to another West End venue where it broke all box office records at the Haymarket with a new cast, while the original cast headed to Broadway and spent six months playing to rapturous audiences at the Music Box Theatre.
On Broadway Grant won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play, and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Original Score - a rare case of a play being nominated in a category full of musicals. James Corden went on to win the Tony Award for best actor for his barnstorming performance as Francis Henshall and awards back in London followed, with the play winning Evening Standard, Critics' Circle and Whatsonstage awards.
The NT Live broadcast of the original cast at the National Theatre was seen by more than a million people in cinemas across the world and continues to be shown in cinemas in encore showings.
International and more UK tours followed as well as cast change after cast change in the West End with Rufus Hound, Gemma Whelan, Jodie Prenger, Hannah Spearitt, Daniel Ings, Nigel Betts, Edward Bennett, Owain Arthur, Angela Griffin, Kellie Shirley, Jasmyn Banks, Emma Barton, Shaun Williamson and Norman Pace all having appeared in the show. Guvnors finally closed in London in 2014, and after a third UK tour (2014/15) Grant's music then went on to be performed in new productions of the show all around the world. The play with songs has proved to be very popular with amateur theatre groups across the UK where it is licensed for performance with the score from Samuel French.
A CD of the songs from the show was released initially by the National Theatre, billed as The Craze - One Man Two Guvnors, and then re-released by DMG Records in America as One Man Two Guvnors - the Original Cast Recording. Grant sings nine of the twelve songs on the CD, with James Corden, Martyn Ellis, Oliver Chris, Daniel Rigby, Suzie Toase, Claire Lams and Jemima Rooper also performing alongside the original Craze.
You can buy the original cast recording here
Grant was lucky enough to work with fantastically talented musicians throughout the run of the show, and you can click here for an article about the experience of working with the brilliant American band who performed as The Craze on Broadway.