Bleak Expectations

Book Bleak Expectations play tickets and enjoy a Dickensian romp with some fantastically funny guest stars

Enjoy a wickedly funny mashup of Charles Dickens’ greatest hits, guest starring some of the nation’s favourite actors and comedians, in Bleak Expectations! Based on the BBC Radio 4 show, this witty and imaginative comedy plays at the Criterion Theatre

Young Pip Bin is a very Dickensian character: an orphan, a runaway, a romantic hero and more. You are invited to follow his incredible adventures with sisters Pippa and Poppy and best friend Harry Biscuit as they escape the clutches of the dastardly villain Mr. Gently Benevolent, defeat the terrifying Hardthrasher siblings and hopefully, after many twists and turns, enjoy a happy ending. 

Boasting bonnets, plotting, boarding schools and disguises, the Bleak Expectations play is an inventive parody of Victorian literature is pure entertainment from start to finish. 

Bleak Expectations first premiered at Watermill Theatre in 2022, and now transfers to London for a limited season. At each performance, a special guest star will appear in this most melodramatic tale, but you may not know who until the show starts. Familiar faces tipped to feature include Tom Allen, Adjoa Andoh, Alexander Armstrong, Jo Brand, Jack Dee, Stephen Fry, Nish Kumar, Lee Mack, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miller and Sue Perkins

The Bleak Expectations play was created by Mark Evans, who has previously written extensively for TV and radio. His other credits include That Mitchell & Webb Look and Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. On stage, it is directed by Caroline Leslie (The Wiper’s Times), with design by Katie Lias, lighting by Andrew Exeter and sound by Ella Wahlström (The Unfriend).

Your cheeks will ache with laughter as Pip and his friends’ exploits unfold on stage! This loveably cheeky tribute to all things Dickens is in the West End until August 2023.

Child friendly?

The Bleak Expectations play is recommended for ages 10+