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A Watermill Theatre Production in association with Anthology Theatre productions and David Wolstencroft


By Mark Evans

'the torrent of jokes proves pretty much irresistible' The Times ★★★★

'a riotously funny new play' ★★★★★ Mickey-Jo Theatre

'an absolute delight' ★★★★ Elaine C Reviews

Fri 27 May 2022 - Sat 02 Jul 2022


By Mark Evans 

Based on the hit BBC Radio 4 comedy

A brand new stage adaptation based on ‘the gloriously daft’ BBC Radio 4 series by Mark Evans.

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.

Follow Pip’s remarkable adventures with sisters Pippa and Poppy and best friend Harry Biscuit as they attempt to escape the scheming clutches of Mr Gently Benevolent, defeat the irrepressible Hardthrasher siblings and avert disaster at every turn. Will evil be vanquished by virtue? Can love triumph over hate? Immerse yourself in this joyfully anarchic comedy featuring hideous boarding schools, dastardly plans, devilish disguises, pulse-quickening romances, heart-rending death scenes, and definitely a happy ending.


Tickets from £15

First Week Special: £5 off tickets from 27 to 30 May


Performance Information

Running time: approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes including a 20 minute interval
Age guidance: 10+
Guidance on Content: This performances uses prop guns and contains loud noises, haze and at points flashes of light.


Dine with us  
Visit our Food & Drink page for more information.


Accessible Performance: 

Audio Described Performance: Saturday 25 June at 2.30pm with a Touch Tour at 1pm.  

Directed by Caroline Leslie
Designed by Katie Lias
Lighting by Andrew Exeter
Sound by Yvonne Gilbert
Movement Director Heriberto Montalban
Composed by Tom Pigott-Smith
Assistant Director and Fight Director Joseph Reed 

Deputy Stage Manager Natalia Kheldouni
Assistant Stage Manager Alastair Day
Assistant Stage Manager Placement Alice Reddick

Audio Described by Charles Wiltshire 

Rose Basista

Pippa Bin

Rose trained at LAMDA.


Theatre credits include: Tom’s Midnight Garden (Theatre by the Lake)


Short Film includes: Calm Ordinary 


Radio credits include: Eleanor of Aquitaine in Eleanor Rising (BBC Radio 4); Doctor Who: The War Doctor (Big Finish Productions)

Colm Gleeson

Thomas Bin / Bakewell Havertwitch / Broadly Fecund

Colm Gleeson is an actor, writer, and musician from Dublin. Having studied Drama Studies and English Literature in Trinity College, Dublin, he subsequently moved to London to train at LAMDA.


Since graduating in 2019, he has appeared in This Be The Verse (Hen & Chickens Theatre); I Have Heard You Calling In The Night (Union Theatre Southwark); both of which he also co-wrote, The Wife of Michael Cleary Songbook (Royal Court Liverpool); and Puckoon (BBC Radio 4).


Colm co-wrote and performed in a short film adaptation of I Have Heard You Calling In The Night, which has been submitted to film festivals around the globe, and received its UK premiere in May 2022.

J.J Henry

Harry Biscuit / Mr Parsimonious

Theatre credits include: Rapunzel (The Theatre Chipping Norton); Ikarus Inc (The Rude Mechanical Theatre Company); Hansel and Gretel (The Rose Theatre Kingston); Road Behind Road Ahead (The Theatre Chipping Norton); Jack and the Beanstalk (Salisbury Playhouse); Robin Hood (The Roses); Mother Goose and Jack and the Giant (The Theatre Chipping Norton); Mother Courage and her Children (Blackeyed Theatre); Halfway to the Sun (The OSO); Private Lives and Pinocchio (Heartbreak Productions); Pinocchio (PMA Productions); The Emperor’s New Clothes (The Unity Theatre); Alice in Wonderland (Spike Theatre).


Film credits include: Going Nowhere and Going Nowhere: The Specials (Disclosure); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Parkes Productions).


Further credits:  J.J. wrote the music and lyrics for many of the songs for Liverpool European Capital of Culture’s Around the ‘Pool in 800 Years (St. George’s Hall) 

Dom Hodson

Pip Bin

Dominic trained at RAM.


Theatre credits include: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Aldwych); Side Show (Southwark Playhouse); War Horse (New London); West Side Story (UK Tour); I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Chiswick Playhouse); Journey's End (Greenwich); The Sound of Music (Kilworth House); Words and Music (Sadler's Wells); I Love You Because (Jermyn Street); Spring Awakening (Broadway Studio).


Other work includes: The forthcoming film of Matilda (Netflix); Life After Life (BBC); Matt Lucas & Friends (Vaudeville); Jamie in a workshop performance of The Last 5 Years with Jason Robert Brown; Cinderella (QDOS); Mother Goose (Chipping Norton); and workshops at the National Theatre Studio, Old Vic, Royal & Derngate, The Other Palace, Arts Theatre, Arcola and others.

Simon Kane

Gently Benevolent

Theatre credits include: Money, Dance Bear Dance, Tropicana, Amato Saltone, The Tennis Show, The Boy Who Climbed Out Of His Face (Shunt); Contains Violence, Monument, Ring (David Rosenberg); The Al-Hamlet Summit, Melting the Ice, Kalila Wa Dimna (Sulayman Al-Bassam); An Execution BIO (Gemma Brockis); The Busker’s Opera (Park Theatre); Diary of a Nobody (The Mighty Fin); John Finnemore’s Flying Visit (Tour); The Hound of the Baskervilles (Octagon, Bolton); and his own shows Jonah Non Grata, Princess Plimsole, Iago’s Little Book of Calm, Najinsky Karaoke. 
Online Theatre credits include: Simon Goes Full Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors, The Taming of the Shrew, Titus Andronicus, Julius Ceasar, Richard the Second, and Richard the Second the Second. Audio Verse Award for The Monster Hunters podcast.


Television credits include: Ghosts, Trying, The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff. 


Radio credits include: John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, John Finnemore’s Double Acts, Before They were Famous, Angstrom, Agendum, North by Northamptonshire, Occupied, and his own show Time Spanner.  


Other writing credits include: That Mitchell and Webb Look, That Mitchell and Webb Sound and Before They Were Famous. 

Alicia McKenzie

Agnes Bin / Flora Dies-Early

Alicia trained at the Identity School of Acting.


Theatre credits include: Small Island (National); Jack and the Beanstalk and A Christmas Carol ( Stephan Joseph); Jekyll and Hyde, The Wind in the Willows (New Vic); The Crucible, Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Summer Holiday (Pitlochry Festival); Women in Power (Nuffield, Southampton and Oxford Playhouse); Whisky Galore (Oldham Coliseum, Hull Truck and the New Vic); Peter Pan (Mercury); Cinderella (Octagon, Bolton); In the Night Garden Live (Minor Entertainment Ltd); Macbeth (Infinite Jest); Fuse (Satellite) (Sheffield Theatres); Snow White (Tour De Force); The Work Programme (City Lit); The Life and Death of Martin Luther King (American Drama Group Europe); Muscavado (Burnout); Rapunzel (Tutti Frutti); One Language Many Voices (TNT); The White Witch of Rose Hall (Okai Collier); In a Pickle and Ring a Ding Ding (Oily Cart).


Television credits include: The Thief, his Wife and the Canoe.


Film credits include: Parents Together Forever (short), In a Rush (short)

Nicholas Murchie

Sir Phillip Bin

Theatre credits include: Black Chiffon (Park 90); Trial by Laughter (Watermill Theatre & Tour); The Deep Blue Sea (Frinton Summer Theatre); A Small Family Business; Love (West Yorkshire Playhouse); A Chaste Maid in Cheapside (Almeida & Tour); Othello; The Cherry Orchard (York Theatre Royal); One Fine Day; The Glass Menagerie; Brimstone & Treacle (Octagon Theatre); Strange Attractors (Contact Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Oldham Coliseum); Comedy of Errors; Little Murders; Bedtime Story (Royal Exchange Theatre); Measure for Measure (Chester Gateway); Twelfth Night (Dukes Lancaster); School for Wives (Harrogate Theatre).


TV credits include: Funny Girl; Andor; Embankment; Decline and Fall; The Great Train Robbery; The Spies of Warsaw; The Outcast; Goths; Daphne; The Bill; Touching Evil; Boyz Unlimited; Medics and In Suspicious Circumstances. Nick played DS Shap in all five seasons of Blue Murder.


Film credits include: Misbehaviour; Their Finest Hour and a Half; Pride, Prejudice and Zombies; A Royal Night Out; Revelation; Princess of Thieves.
Radio credits include: Jabber Jabber, The Woodlanders, Eleanor Rising, The Bully, Scenes From A Zombie Apocalypse, Our Truth, Their Lies, The Corrupted, How To Build A Supertower, Renaissance Man, The Tzars, The Corrupted, Forward Presence, The Dark Tower and Come Unto These Yellow Sands. Nick played The Rev. Ralph Winwood in BBC Radio 4's Home Front.

Caitlin Scott

Poppy Bin / Ripely Fecund

Caitlin is a 2021 graduate from LAMDA’s MfA Acting program. Before attending LAMDA she studied Acting at Trinity College Dublin and worked in Ireland with roles in Vikings amongst others. Bleak Expectations is Caitlin’s professional theatre debut.

Dan Tetsell

The Hardthrashers

Theatre credits include: The Wipers Times (Watermill), Trial By Laughter (Watermill), Sins of the Grandfathers (Underbelly), Live Ghost Hunt (Pleasance), The Museum of Everything (Pleasance)
Television credits include: Why Didn’t They Ask Evans (Britbox), Hollyoaks (C4), The Nevers (HBO), The Toys That Built America (History Channel), Hitmen: Reloaded (Sky One), Mongrels (BBC 3), Detectorists (BBC Four), Extras (BBC One), Red Dwarf (Dave), Upstart Crow (BBC Two), Utopia (C4), Psychoville (BBC Two), War & Peace (BBC 1), Peter and Wendy (ITV), World War One Remembered (BBC One), Miranda (BBC One), Skins (C4)


Radio credits include: The Museum of Everything, Paperback Hell, Ed Reardon’s Week, Cabin Pressure, Chris Addison’s Civilisation, The Ape That Got Lucky, Armando Iannucci’s Charm Offensive, The Friday Play: Sins of the Grandfathers, Thanks A Lot, Milton Jones, News At Bedtime, Will Smith’s The Tao of Bergerac, That Was Then This Is Now, Whispers, The Personality Test, The Brig Society
Podcast credits include: As It Occurs To Me with Richard Herring, Do The Right Thing, My Time Capsule, Smershpod, International Waters