Young Philip Pirrip (Christopher Guard) – universally known as Pip – encounters escaped convict Magwitch (John Tate) in a deserted graveyard, and helps him find food and escape his shackles. When his kindness is later rewarded by an unexpected inheritance, the adult Pip (Gary Bond), surrounded by home comforts, grows mean and arrogant – and smitten with the aloof Estella (Francesca Annis).
Maxine Audley plays vindictive recluse Miss Havisham, who has raised Estella to distrust all men; Neil McCarthy and Richard O’Sullivan are Pip’s steadfast friends Joe Gargery and Herbert Pocket; and Peter Vaughan is the fearsome and highly effective lawyer Jaggers. The cast also includes Hannah Gordon as Pip’s confidante Biddy, Norman Scace as Joe’s pompous uncle Pumblechook, Shirley Cain as Pip’s hot-tempered sister Georgiana (‘Mrs Joe’), and Ronald Lacey as the shadowy Orlick.
Written by acclaimed playwright Hugh Leonard, who adapted many of Dickens’ books for TV and the stage, this is a delightful cautionary tale of the power of wealth to corrupt and betray.