"A cavalcade of characters."
-What's On Stage-

"Social subtlety is ruled out"
-The Independent-

"This is a plodding show..."
-The Evening Standard-

Sorry, Great Expectations closed on 01 Jun 2013

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About the show

2012 marked the international celebration of Charles Dickens' bicentenary, as many films, talks and exhibitions celebrated the life and work of one of Britain's greatest authors. This brand new adaptation of arguably one his most popular works brings the unforgettable characters of Pip, Estella, Joe and the haunting Miss Havisham to life. In Jo Clifford's revised adaptation, a new design along with newly commissioned music give this play a brand new lease of life.

Young Pip lives on the marshes with his violent Sister and her husband Joe. After a chance encounter with an escaped convict, he is summoned to visit the mysterious Miss Havisham at Satis House as part of her scheme to use her daughter Estella to break his heart. He is informed that his fortunes have been reversed as a mysterious benefactor leaves him a large amount of money, seeing Pip travel to London to live a new life under the careful eye of Mr Jaggers. As he discovers the true identity of his benefactor, his life is turned upside down and he becomes to realise the importance of family and relationships over money and greed.

Paula Wilcox takes on the iconic role of Miss Havisham, returning to the stage after many TV appearances in shows such as 'The Queen's Nose', 'Touch of Frost' and 'Emmerdale'. She is joined by 'Bad Girls' actor Jack Ellis as the lawyer Mr Jaggers, who was last seen on the London stage in Sam Mendes' production of 'Richard III' which starred Kevin Spacey. Grace Rowe and Taylor Jay Davies star as doomed lovers Pip and Estella, along with a strong cast of 16 bringing Dickens' memorable line up of supporting characters to life.

Who Should See It?

Although primarily a family show, 'Great Expectations' is only suitable for children over the age of 8 due to the scary nature of some of the scenes. Families and schools will enjoy this faithful production which will be helpful for anyone studying this classic book.


Pip - The main protagonist of the play. We follow Pip's journey from boy to man as he struggles to live up to his 'great expectations'. 

Miss Havisham - Jilted at the alter, she resides in Satis House where all the clocks have stopped, leaving her and her surroundings exactly as they were the minute her life came to an end. She calls Pip to play with her and introduces him to her daughter Estella. 

Estella - Miss Havisham's daughter who grows up alongside Pip. She is taught to hate mankind by her mother and ends up breaking Pip's heart. 

Joe - Pip's surrogate father who is married to his sister, Mrs Joe. He looks after him as a boy and takes him under his wing. 

Abel Magwitch - An escaped convict who meets Pip on the marshes, and re-enters his life causing much surprise. 

Playing at

Vaudeville Theatre
The Strand
Seating Plan

Vaudeville Theatre seating plan

Booking period

1st Feb 2013

22nd Jan 2021

1st Jun 2013

Running time

2 hours 20 minutes