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Audio Comedy Review

Book Cover

Bleak Expectations
The Complete First Series


Written by: Mark Evans
Starring: Richard Johnson, Anthony Head, Celia Imrie, Geoffrey Whitehead and Tom Allen
BBC Audio
RRP: £15.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 68827 7
Available 03 March 2008

Join Anthony Head, Celia Imrie, Richard Johnson and Geoffrey Whitehead in this gloriously daft Victorian romp in the style of Charles Dickens on too much gin. Follow the remarkable adventures of young Pip Bin as he struggles to rescue himself and his sisters from the schemes of his evil and badly-named guardian Mr. Gently Benevolent, and the blood curdling Hardthrasher family...

Originally broadcast on Radio 4 between August and September 2007, Bleak Expectations follows the adventures of young Philip (Pip) Bin as he struggles to rescue himself and his sisters from the plotting of his guardian, the scheming, evil and badly-named Mr Gently Benevolent, and the blood-curdling Hardthrasher family.

When Pip's father suddenly dies and his mother goes insane, the dastardly Mr. Gently Benevolent seems to have been behind everything. With the Bin's out of the way Benevolent plans to kill the Bin's children before they reach the age of 18 and inherit the family house and wealth.

But young Pip Bin won't just lay down and die. With the help of his family and new friend, Harry Biscuit, Pip outsmarts his enemies at every turn - he's even got enough time to patent a new invention to contain discarded waste, which he calls the "bin".

over the course of six episodes we follow Pip's adventures as he tries to stay one step ahead of Benevolent and the Hardthrasher family - but it's not easy when he's thrust into some of the country's most awful environments.

While a lot of the jokes in this series have been "borrowed" from numerous sources, and a lot of them are very corny and very old school, this collection has a charm all of its own. It's certainly a show that grows on you over the course of the six episodes.

Those wanting something a little different might like to give this series a listen.


Pete Boomer

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