This summer, see the cream of British comedy and acting talent take on the career defining role of The Narrator, in the riotous new comedy classic – Bleak Expectations.
‘ZINGS WITH INTELLIGENCE & IMAGINATION’ The Guardian
Based on the award-winning radio series by Mark Evans, Bleak Expectations takes you on a joyfully anarchic journey through Dickensian London and beyond. Follow the heroic misadventures of young Pip Bin as he battles mistaken identities, contemptible conspiracies and surreal plot twists in his quest to save his family and find true love..
A SPECIAL GUEST STAR NARRATOR EACH WEEK!
MAY: Nina Wadia, Dermot O’Leary, Sally Phillips, Robert Lindsay, Sue Perkins
JUNE: Julian Clary, Adjoa Andoh, Craig Ferguson, Lee Mack
JULY: Stephen Mangan, Jo Brand, Tom Allen, Jack Dee
AUGUST: Alexander Armstrong, Stephen Fry
Get ready for a Bleaking unforgettable night of laugh-out-loud comedy action, playing until 13 August at London's Criterion Theatre. Book your tickets today.
• 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: Hugh Dennis
• 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 Kuma
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.
Additional Details & FAQ
- Access Information
For access information please call the box office please call 020 7839 8811 or email email@example.com
- Cancellation Policy
No refunds or exchanges after purchase.
- Where Do I Go
The Criterion is on Piccadilly Circus south-east side, by The Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain (Eros). The theatre entrance faces the statue.
Piccadilly Circus tube station, exit 4, brings you to the front of the theatre.
Sep 8, 2023
The best show I have seen in years- quirky and genuinely funny
Aug 14, 2023
Amazing show, a laugh a minute from start to finish. The cast were superb and Stephen Fry a perfect narrator.
Aug 13, 2023
I wasn't sure what to expect as hadn't listened to radio show and was coming with someone who had, so we both had different expectations (excuse the pun) Steven Fry was our narrator of choice and we were not disappointed. He was brilliant. The cast were exceptional and gave every ounce of energy and enthusiasm to their role, which for some were many different characters. We both laughed out loud throughout the performance. Loved it. Only regret is that we weren't able to come see the play each time there was a new narrator as I am sure this must have added something different and special everytime.
Aug 11, 2023
Plenty of laughs and fun in this farce. Stephen Fry in very good form. Marc Pickering stole the show with his manic and highly enjoyable performance.
Aug 11, 2023
We really enjoyed Bleak Expectations! The cast were amazingly good, keeping a rapid pace and engaging the audience with the performance.
Jul 22, 2023
Absolutely brilliant show, so funny and brilliantly staged - cast we're all amazing and captured the spirit of the radio show. Never stopped laughing! Beautiful theatre too.
Jul 12, 2023
Hilarious! Brilliant! The whole cast, including Hugh Dennis were simply wonderful!! Absolutely loved it… Coming back to London to see Stephen Fry. Masterpiece!!!!
Jul 9, 2023
Booked after hearing Sue Perkins talk about it on Claudia’s Saturday morning radio show. Stephen Mangan was our narrator. The whole experience was wonderful- the theatre is beautiful and the staff welcoming. The show is brilliant- fast paced, lively energetic and very funny. The cast are clearly enjoying it - play up to each other, the audience and the fantastic absurdity of Dickens. But with due respect. Loved it!
Jul 8, 2023
Laugh out loud comedy, excellent performances by all
Jul 6, 2023
Loved every stomach munching laugh
Jul 2, 2023
As an avid fan of the radio series, this lift up to my expectations! Inventive, witty, fast, paced, and very funny. Would thoroughly recommend.
Jul 2, 2023
Such a witty, well written and beautifully acted show. Well done all
Jun 30, 2023
We booked to see Lee Mack & he was charming & cheeky, just as you would expect. The choice of narrators is so good, it was hard to choose. The play was really funny with elements like the play that goes wrong & upstart crow. The first half was funny, the second half hilarious ! The cast were so talented, including Sargeant Scot from Midsomers who was excellent. Thoroughly recommend, we wish we could go again.
Jun 25, 2023
If you are a ‘Bleak’ fan, go! High energy performances from the cast and narrator, funny dialog and ad-libs. What’s not to like. My wife who has had a less than immersive exposure to Bleak Expectations found it greatly amusing!
Jun 20, 2023
Really loved this show, hilariously funny and very well written. Camaraderie of the cast was palpable, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Jun 18, 2023
So many laughs during a very well put together performance. We would definitely recommend.
Jun 17, 2023
Very funny play, the actors also enjoyed it! Highly recommend.
Jun 13, 2023
I saw this with Julian Clary in the narrator role. It was hilarious. Very quick & witty. Great entertainment.
Jun 11, 2023
This was a wonderful performance from beginning to end with superb acting from everyone. We were totally absorbed and completely satisfied. Many thanks to all.
Jun 9, 2023
A great show, really funny brilliantly written and performed
May 31, 2023
A great adaption of the radio play, with additional physical comedy which really brought the story to life. All the roles were perfectly cast. I particularly enjoyed Hardthrasher and Gently, loving every moment they were on stage. All the cast did an excellent job. I would definitely recommend this paly for anyone who wants a fun filled theatre experience.
May 28, 2023
A wild and wonderfully irreverent romp through the works of Charles Dickens. Well written and cast perfectly, the actors appeared to be having as much fun as the audience. in this frenetic, laugh-a-minute farce.
May 26, 2023
A really entertaining show, and with a very funny script, spectacularly accurate comic timing and a cast prepared to go all out playing a vast array of characters. Robert Lindsay as the guest narrator was a delight. Well done all. An enjoyable night out. We left with laughter in our hearts!
May 26, 2023
Absurd, hilarious and so well acted. London theatre at its best and reasonably priced.
May 22, 2023
This was the worst thing I have ever seen at the Theatre. Unfortunately it was not funny. Poorly acted, slapstick. I find laughter an involuntary reaction to something funny but this was never the case here. Sally Phillips, of whom I would say I was a fan, delivered a terrible commentary with what presumably were some funny bits as a confidential aside which was largely inaudible. I was expecting it to be hammy, overacted, with innuendo and bordering on Pantomime but I was also expecting to laugh which I seldom did.
May 21, 2023
Two hours of laugh. The entire cast simply amazing! Sally Phillips added a sprinkle of magic.
May 20, 2023
May 17, 2023
Excellent fun evening. Sally was great as narrator and cast very good!
May 17, 2023
Loved the silly humour - a bit Black Adder! Mixed with Horrible Histories! Hard working cast with old fashion sort of slap stick. Just a thorough good laugh. Only reason for 4 stars was the side view sears (AA28 and 29) were more difficult to lean forward because seats are fixed. But the price reflected that but just a warning if you have maybe a bad back.
May 16, 2023
A joyous romp through a Dickens pastiche. The main cast are brilliant and it is almost a shame there needs to be the draw of a big name to attract people to see it. We had Dermot O’Leary, who was a fun narrator, it was good to see another side to him.
May 14, 2023
Simple humour, good acting
May 12, 2023
very disappointing show. I am a regular theatre goer and this is the first time I felt like leaving the performance half way through.
May 12, 2023
May 10, 2023
I wasn’t sure what to expect but it was very silly and very funny. I haven’t laughed at the theatre so much before. I wasn’t sure who the special guest narrator was going to be so that added to the excitement.
May 6, 2023
The actors were extremely good and entertaining, as was Nina Wadia. The comedy was good at times but we were expecting it to be funnier throughout.
May 4, 2023
I don’t usually write reviews, but feel compelled to do so, because it was so utterly weak and waste of time and money. I’m a single father who rarely gets time off. I wish I had not gone to the expenses and time. The writing offered nothing new and amateurs could have done a better acting job. Pitiful.