Review of Bleak Expectations, Criterion Theatre, London (2023)

An Unexpected Journey Through Dickensian Delight!

“Bleak Expectations” is not your typical Dickens adaptation. 

From the moment the curtains rise, it’s clear that this play is set to challenge our preconceptions of Victorian England. The set design, a blend of steampunk aesthetics and traditional Victorian decor, immediately captures the audience’s attention, setting the tone for a night of surprises.

Characters That Shine 


The cast of “Bleak Expectations” delivers performances that are both heartfelt and humorous. 

Our protagonist navigates the challenges of Victorian society with a wit and charm that’s hard to resist. His interactions with the supporting cast, especially the cunning antagonist, are a highlight of the show. 

The chemistry between characters is palpable, making for some truly memorable scenes.

A Soundtrack to Remember 

One of the standout elements of “Bleak Expectations” is its musical score. The compositions, a mix of classical orchestration and modern beats, perfectly encapsulate the play’s theme of old meets new. 

It’s not often that a play’s soundtrack becomes a character in its own right, but here, it adds depth and emotion to every scene.

A Message for the Ages 


Beyond the impressive performances and stunning visuals, “Bleak Expectations” carries a message about resilience, hope, and the human spirit. It reminds us that even in the darkest of times, there’s always a glimmer of hope. 

The play’s conclusion, without giving too much away, is both satisfying and thought-provoking.

“Bleak Expectations” is a must-watch for theatre enthusiasts and casual viewers alike. It’s a fresh take on a classic tale, filled with memorable performances, stunning visuals, and a message that resonates with audiences of all ages. 

If you’re in London, make it a point to catch this masterpiece the next time. You won’t be disappointed!

The Essentials for My Fellow Theatre Lovers:

  • Venue: Criterion Theatre, London
  • Getting There: The Criterion Theatre is located in the heart of London’s West End, near Piccadilly Circus. The closest tube station is Piccadilly Circus.
  • Duration: 2 hours 15 mins, including an interval
  • Show Dates: 3 May 2023 – 13 August 2023