SeatPlan Logo
Bleak Expectations hero image
Bleak Expectations hero image
Bleak Expectations hero image

Bleak Expectations Tickets

Criterion Theatre

Join Pip Bin and his friends on a hilarious Dickensian adventure, featuring guest appearances from some of your favourite comedians.

A star-studded Dickensian parody

What would happen if Charles Dickens drank too much gin, lived for another 150 years, and wrote a West End play? Find out in Bleak Expectations at the Criterion Theatre, the daft new comedy that sends up the best of Victorian melodrama.

Join orphan Pip Bin, his sisters Pippa and Poppy, and his best friend Harry Biscuit as they outrun the clutches of scheming Mr. Gently Benevolent. Will virtue win over evil? Will depressing boarding schools and devilish plotting be foiled once and for all? And most importantly, will there be a happy ending with lots of romance?

The Bleak Expectations play is a fantastically silly adaptation of Mark Evans’ award-winning BBC Radio 4 series.

If an ultimate parody of Dickens’ greatest hits wasn’t enough, each week, familiar faces from the world of showbiz will take to the stage. Tom Allen, Adjoa Andoh, Jo Brand, Alexander Armstrong, Stephen Fry, Sue Perkins, and Lee Mack are just some of the stars donning bonnets, tails, and dastardly disguises in this madcap comedy.

This uproarious and witty show is at the Criterion Theatre for a strictly limited season, so book Bleak Expectations tickets now to join the fun.

Sorry this show closed 13 August 2023, we recommend these similar productions.

Performance dates:
02 Sep 2023 - 13 Aug 2023
Running time:
2 hours and 15 minutes including an interval.
Age recommendation:
Best for age 10+
Audience Notes:
Please note that the appearance of any performer cannot be guaranteed, and is always subject to illness, injury and statutory holiday entitlement.

Bleak Expectations Reviews

255 Reviews
  • 5 Stars55%
  • 4 Stars27%
  • 3 Stars14%
  • 2 Stars4%
  • 1 Stars1%

User Reviews


Laughed all the way through. There was so much laughter coming form the audience that you missed some dialogue. Stephen Fry regaled us with stories about being Chair of The Criterion Charity Trust after the interval too. All in all his involvement, s Read more

Performance date: 12 August 2023

Great show anyway - add Stephen Fry and you have perfection. Unlike other narrators who tweaked the script and added little bits, Stephen Fry grabbed it, made it his own ad libbing lot, sending up his fellow actors - making them corps a plenty. Magic Read more

Performance date: 12 August 2023

Based on the gothic novel by Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, this adaptation, which had made its debut at Edinburgh Fringe in 2022, is presented by the King’s College School Theatre Company. For one night only a prestigious West End venue is Read more

Performance date: 31 July 2023
Your basket is empty.