This is a sponsored article on behalf of Bleak Expectations.
If you're after a night of rib-tickling, tear-inducing, delightfully silly comedy, your eyes might glide right past a name like "Bleak Expectations". But that would be a grave error. Because this show is one of the funniest you'll find in the West End this spring.
Bleak Expectations is the Dickens parody you didn't know you needed. If it sounds familiar, that's because it started life as an award-winning BBC Radio 4 comedy — a send-up of novels like Great Expectations and Bleak House (hence the name). Now, it's been reimagined for the stage — and some very familiar faces are getting involved.
The show — on stage now at Criterion Theatre — follows the myriad misadventures of young Pip Bin, future inventor of the rubbish bin (talk about nominative determinism!). Together with his sisters and best friend Harry, Pip must dodge disaster at every turn, from escaping the clutches of dastardly Mr Gently Benevolent, to defeating the hideous Hardthrasher twins.
This boisterous bildungsroman is brought to life by an ensemble cast, who are joined by a different guest star every week. Expect big names from the worlds of comedy and entertainment, who take turns playing the narrator — our hero as eminent older gent, Sir Philip Bin.
These special guests stars include Tom Allen, Adjoa Andoh, Alexander Armstrong, Jo Brand, Julian Clary, Jack Dee, Stephen Fry, Nish Kumar, Lee Mack, Stephen Mangan, Ben Miller, Dermot O'Leary, Sue Perkins, and Sally Phillips.
But this elite line-up isn't the only reason to snap up tickets. Just look at the some of the praise the show garnered ahead of its West End transfer! The Times calls it "a wickedly inventive parody of Victorian melodrama", while The Guardian describes it as a show that "zings with intelligence, imagination, and oodles of silliness".
If you've ever wondered what kind of story Dickens might've written after knocking back a bit too much gin, this is the show for you. That said, you don't have to be a fan of the writer to get a kick out of it — Bleak Expectations is for anyone looking for a properly entertaining evening out in the heart of theatreland.
Bleak Expectations is on stage now Criterion Theatre (Piccadilly). Book now!