Bleak Expectations  Tickets
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 1
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 2
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 3

Bleak Expectations Tickets

Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 1
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 2
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 3
Bleak Expectations  Tickets

About Bleak Expectations

Enjoy a Charles Dickens-inspired play that’s set to shake up the West End. See if a plucky Victorian hero can save the day and book Bleak Expectations tickets on TodayTix.

Great Expectations details orphan Philip Pirrip’s coming-of-age story. But in the Bleak Expectations play, it’s all about young Pip Bin. Even though the half orphan and wannabe hero tries to save the day, he finds himself in disastrous situations. With the help of sisters Pippa and Poppy, the plucky protagonist beats disguises, conspiracies, and boarding schools to write his own happy ending.

Based on the BBC Radio 4 series of the same name, Pip Bin’s stories now come alive on stage. Expect plenty of Britishisms in this hilarious play. The Guardian praised its quaintness, saying the original radio show “bursts into life as an adrenalised stage adaptation filled with fast-paced physical comedy, joshing satire and oodles of silliness.”

Join a medley of much-loved faces as they guest star as Sir Philip “Pip” Bin in the West End run. You'll want to see Bleak Expectations in London on multiple occasions to witness different takes on the role.

  • 4-9 July: Stephen Mangan
  • 11-16 July: Hugh Dennis
  • 18-23 July: Tom Allen
  • 25-30 July: Jack Dee
  • 1-6 August: Alexander Armstrong
  • 8-13 August: Stephen Fry

Important Information We strongly recommend and ask you to wear a face covering during your visit to The Criterion - including during the performance - unless you have an exemption.

Run time

2 hours 15 minutes (inc. interval)

Start date

3rd May, 2023

End date

13th August, 2023



10+. Guidance on Content: This performance uses prop guns and contains loud noises, haze and at points flashes of light.

Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 1
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 2
Bleak Expectations : What to expect - 3

72 Reviews



37 Reviews | 0 Followers
Brilliant writting, Cosy, Entertaining, Farcical hilarity, Clever

See it if You love witty, farcical comedies with brilliant stabs at the culture of Dickensian novels and social status’. Also if you loved the radio.

Don’t see it if No reason. Go and see it or miss out!

Stage Door Matt

Stage Door Matt

26 Reviews | 2 Followers
Entertaining, Farce, Funny, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if You like slapstick/farce style comedy

Don’t see it if you don’t like comedy

Catherine 352

Catherine 352

100 Reviews | 10 Followers
Great acting, Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Great writing

See it if you want to have fun time. Mashed up Dickens in farce style. Witty wordy lines acted perfectly. You’ll love it.

Don’t see it if you don’t like comedy or you don’t like any of Dickens. Also may not so hilarious to those who don’t know anything about Dickens.



65 Reviews | 3 Followers
Delightful, Hilarious, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You want to spend a couple of hours being entertained with some very clever writing and great acting. Throw in a guest star narrator!

Don’t see it if You are studying Dickens for an exam and you wanted a study guide!

View all reviews

Stars on stage

Julian Clary

Julian Clary

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

Stephen Mangan

Stephen Mangan

Robert Lindsay

Robert Lindsay

Bleak Expectations cast and creative team

By: Mark Evans Cast list: Nina Wadia, Dermot O’Leary, Sally Philips, Sue Perkins, Julian Clary, Adjoa Andoh, Lee Mack, Stephen Mangan, Hugh Dennis, Tom Allen, Jack Dee, Alexander Armstrong, Stephen Fry, Ben Miller, Nish Kumar, Robert Lindsay, Craig Ferguson, Ashh Blackwood, Shane David-Joseph, J.J. Henry, John Hopkins, Dom Hodson, Serena Manteghi, Marc Pickering, Rachel Summers


Criterion Theatre

218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, London, United Kingdom, SW1Y 4XA


Location: West End
Railway station: Charing Cross
Bus numbers: (Haymarket) 3, 6, 12, 13, 19, 23, 38, 88, 139; (Regent Street) 14, 15, 22, 94, 159, 453
Night bus numbers: (Haymarket) 6, 12, 23, 88, 139, 159, N3, N13, N18, N19, N38, N97, N136, N550, N551; (Regent Street) 14, 94, 159, 453, N15, N22, N109
Car park: Leicester Square, Whitcomb Street (3 mins)
Directions from tube: The theatre can be seen on Piccadilly Circus next to the Eros statue.

More information about Bleak Expectations

Mark Evans’s Bleak Expectations parodies Victorian storytelling tropes. Even though the title is based on Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, there’s references to popular Victorian costume dramas, as well as science fiction stories. Sure, there’s plenty of wacky stories, but it spoofs an era with heart. As The Guardian said: “if it is comfort theatre, it also zings with intelligence, imagination and comic anarchy.”

The play started out at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury in summer 2022. After rave reviews, Bleak Expectations now transfers for a summer season at the Criterion Theatre.

What to Watch For:

  • Bleak Expectations started out as a radio comedy series. The Radio 4 show aired for five series from 2006 to 2012, and won a British Comedy Guide Editors' Award.
  • Tom Allen, who is set to star in the show for one week, originated the role of Pip Bin in the radio series. His radio co-stars included Sarah Hadland, David Mitchell, Celia Imrie, Joanna Page, Sophie Thompson, and Tom Hollander.
  • To mark the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth, the BBC commissioned a Bleak Expectations spinoff television series. The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff parodied Dickens’s popular novels: Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and A Christmas Carol, to name a few.


Unfortunately, tickets for this event are no longer available.

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