Bleak House.

Bleak House is a 2005 television adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel of the same name.

Cast

Singing roles

Non-singing roles

Plot

The longstanding estate battle of Jarndyce v Jarndyce hangs over the heads of many conflicting heirs, confused by multiple wills. Possible beneficiary John Jarndyce of Bleak House welcomes orphaned cousins Ada Clare and Richard Carstone — also potential heirs — as his wards, and has hired Esther Summerson as a housekeeper and companion for Ada. Lady Honoria Dedlock, married to the imperious baronet Sir Leicester, is also a possible beneficiary of the estate. The Dedlocks' lawyer, Tulkinghorn, sniffs out a connection between Lady Dedlock and a newly deceased man called Nemo; as he tries to discover Nemo's true identity, Lady Dedlock secretly seeks information about the dead man herself. Meanwhile, Richard and Ada are falling in love. Richard keeps changing his mind on which career to pursue — first a physician, then a lawyer and then a soldier — but the prospect of his inheritance from the ongoing litigation begins to consume him, despite warnings from John, now his former guardian. Esther and the young doctor Allan Woodcourt are attracted to each other, but Esther feels unworthy and Allan accepts a commission as a navy physician.

The law clerk Mr. Guppy, enamoured of Esther, hopes to win her affection by helping her discover the identity of her parents. He finds connections to both Lady Dedlock and the deceased Nemo, who has been identified as Captain James Hawdon, and is eventually alerted to the existence of letters left behind by Hawdon but kept by his drunken landlord, Krook. Realizing that Esther is her daughter whom she was told had died — fathered by Hawdon before her current marriage — Lady Dedlock confesses to Esther but swears her to secrecy. Esther is stricken by smallpox and nearly dies; she recovers but is terribly scarred. John proposes marriage to Esther, but though she accepts, he convinces her to keep it secret until she is sure it is what she wants. While amassing other enemies, Tulkinghorn deduces Lady Dedlock's secret and tries to use it to keep her in line.

Tulkinghorn is murdered, with no shortage of suspects. Lady Dedlock is implicated, but Inspector Bucket reveals that her former maid Hortense is the murderess and had tried to frame Lady Dedlock. Richard and Ada are secretly married, but he is obsessed with the lawsuit, encouraged by John's unscrupulous friend Harold Skimpole and the conniving lawyer Vholes. As a result, Richard is penniless and his health is failing. Hawdon's letters — written by a young Lady Dedlock and revealing her secret — find their way back into the hands of the moneylender Smallweed, who sells them to Sir Leicester. Guilty over her deception and not wanting to bring ruin to her husband, Lady Dedlock flees into a storm before Sir Leicester is able to tell her he does not care about her past. He has a massive heart attack but sends Bucket after her. Bucket eventually realizes where she must be — the graveyard where Hawdon is buried — but Esther arrives to find her mother dead from exposure. A final Jarndyce will is found that closes the case in favor of Richard and Ada, but the estate has been consumed by years of legal fees. Richard collapses, overcome by tuberculosis, and soon dies. Allan professes his love for Esther, who rebuffs him out of obligation to John, and a pregnant Ada returns to Bleak House. John releases Esther from their engagement, knowing that she really loves Allan. Esther and Allan marry, with all in attendance.

Musical numbers

Episode 10

  • "The Raggle Taggle Gypsies" - Rosa
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