September 2023 — October 2023

Great Expectations

Adapted by Tanika Gupta. Directed by Pooja Ghai

A Tamasha and Royal Exchange Theatre co-production 

★★★★★ – West End Best Friend

★★★★ – The Times

★★★★ – The Guardian

★★★★ – The Reviews Hub

“All my life they looked down on me, always cursing and abusing. But you, you will be different!”

Bengal, 1903. Rumours that the British Empire plans to partition Bengal spread and uncertainty is never far away. For one Indian boy destiny is found on the banks of the River Padma before the Goddess Lakshmi. Here a promise is made. Born out of terror or kindness the choice Pipli makes that night will shape his life forever.

Pooja Ghai directs Tanika Gupta’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Pipli moves from his home in Rajshahi to the bustling streets of Calcutta. With an open heart he navigates unforgiving darkness and unsettling friendships in his search for a better future. For Pipli, dharma – the right way of living, is never far away.

Content warning: Age guidance 12+


Royal Exchange Theatre

St Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7DH

08 Sep — 07 Oct

Book now

Creative Team

Written by Charles Dickens

Adapted by Tanika Gupta

Directed by Pooja Ghai

Designer Rosa Maggiora

Lighting Designer Joshua Carr

Composer and Sound Designer Arun Ghosh

Fight Director Rachel Bown-Williams of Rc-Annie Ltd.

Movement Director Neil Bettles

Dialect Coach Gurkiran Kaur

Birkbeck Assistant Director Amara Heyland-Morrin

Casting Director Hannah Miller CDG

Production Manager Jacqui Leigh

Company Stage Manager Jane-Newbury-Jones

Deputy Stage Manager Rosie Giarratana

Assistant Stage Manager Louise Manifold

Photography by Felicity McCabe


Esh Alladi


Catherine Russell

Miss Havisham

Cecilia Appiah


Asif Khan


Shanaya Rafaat


Andrew French


Humera Syed


Nav Sidhu

Panda/Public Speaker

Stephen Fewell


Shaban Dar


Reginald Edwards

Compeyson/Matthew Pocket

Giles Cooper

Herbert Pocket/Soldier

"truly spellbinding"

  • West End Best Friend

"big slice of theatrical storytelling"

  • The Times

"Tanika Gupta brings authority and nuance to her adaptation"

  • The Guardian

"an all-round entertaining production that looks great, keeps you engaged, is full of wit and packed with morals"

  • The Reviews Hub

In the press

“Miss Havisham in my adaptation represents colonial Britain – the dying embers of it – her inability to ‘let go’ of the memory of the lover who jilted her so cruelly, her arrogance, her manipulation of Estella and Pipli and her vulnerability are all an allegory for British rule. But we still feel empathy for her and she does change!”

Tanika Gupta for Broadway World

“It doesn’t shy away from the darker side of the colonial coin – but asks us to delve deeper into this side of history to better understand why we are where we are today.”

Pooja Ghai for Closeup Culture

Gupta’s version shows “how colonialism doesn’t just affect our political structures, there’s a colonisation of the mind and heart as well.”

Esh Alladi speaks to The Stage