Runtime: 2h 15m
Originally seen at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, which may have lost its Arts Council funding in the last round but remains both perky and insanely ambitious, this stage version of the delicious Radio 4 comedy drama is a frolicsome mix of Dickensian plotting and sharp satiric writing. Following the misadventures of Pip and his sisters, Pippa and Poppy, it’s a show full of comic potential and off-the-scale levels of silliness as the trio and their friend attempt to escape the misnamed Mr. Gently Benevolent, who is determined to do his worst for them. Dickens himself is sure to have approved of a show that had a huge cult following on the radio and that can’t fail to lift the spirits in gloomy times. If that’s not temptation enough, it makes ingenious use of guest stars, with Sally Philips, Sue Perkins, Julian Clary, Adjoa Andoh, Jo Brand, and Stephen Fry all joining the cast in the coming weeks.
Bleak Expectations is the story that Charles Dickens might have written after drinking too much gin. And, crucially, had lived for another 152 years! Two-time winner of the Best Radio Sitcom award and winner of a Sony Award, Bleak Expectations has captivated audiences and critics alike since its 2007 debut. Hold on tight for a chaotic caper through Dickensian London with young Pip Bin: tragic half orphan, hopeless romantic and would-be-hero. Bleak Expectations follows young Pip’s extraordinary exploits with sisters Pippa and Poppy plus best friend Harry Biscuit as they attempt to escape the calculating clutches of the dastardly Mr Gently Benevolent, defeat the hideous Hardthrasher siblings, and deflect disaster at every turn! Week by week be joined by the likes of Tom Allen, Jack Dee, Adjoa Andoh, Stephen Fry, Lee Mack, Nish Kumar, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins or Stephen Mangan* in this chaotic caper through Dickensian London featuring dastardly plans, devilish disguises, and definitely, probably a happy ending… *Not all at the same time, obviously (that would be ridiculous). Take a look at the guest star schedule below before booking your tickets! 3 - 7 May: Nina Wadia 9 - 14 May: Dermot O’Leary 16 - 21 May: Sally Philips 30 May - 4 June: Sue Perkins 6 - 11 June: Julian Clary 13 - 18 June: Adjoa Andoh 27 June - 2 July: Lee Mack 4 - 9 July: Stephen Mangan 11 - 16 July: Jo Brand 18 - 23 July: Tom Allen 25 - 30 July: Jack Dee 1 - 6 August: Alexander Armstrong 8 - 13 August: Stephen Fry 15 - 20 August: Ben Miller 29 August - 3 September: Nish Kumar Special note: The producers cannot guarantee the appearance of any particular artist at any performance, as this is subject to a variety of factors including illness, injury, or events beyond the producers’ control. No refunds or exchanges will be offered as a result of an artist’s unavailability to perform at any performance. Content: This performance uses prop guns and contains loud noises, haze and at points, flashes of light. Age Recommendation: 10+