The Upstart Crow stage show to return

Monday 16th May 2022, 12:25pm

The Upstart Crow. Image shows from L to R: David Mitchell, Gemma Whelan. Copyright: Johan Persson

David Mitchell and Gemma Whelan will return to The Upstart Crow, the stage show spin-off from Ben Elton's sitcom about William Shakespeare.

Tickets are now on sale for the 5-star reviewed comedy's revival, opening in September. An all-new story, it is set after the events of 2018's television Series 3.

Producers say: "The Upstart Crow opened at the Gielgud Theatre in February 2020 to an array of glowing reviews and sold out performances. The Daily Telegraph described the show as 'just the hey nonny-nonny nonsense the doctor ordered with much to crow about'. Then Covid hit and theatres were forced to close for the first lockdown.

"Now, one plague and an Olivier Award nomination later, this all-new comedy is back, starring David Mitchell who will resume his West End debut in Ben Elton's stage adaptation of the critically acclaimed BBC TV sitcom, Upstart Crow. Rejoining Mitchell on stage will be Gemma Whelan as the sweet and fragrant Kate, along with a troupe of players to be announced."

Directed by Sean Foley, The Upstart Crow will open at the Apollo Theatre on 23 September for a limited 10 week run and see Mitchell once more don the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare.

David Mitchell says: "A whole pandemic later, I'm delighted to have the opportunity to continue my West End debut as history's most famous balding dramatist and escape back to 1605 through the amazing comic imagination of Ben Elton. We aim to bring Shakespearean London back to life in every way apart from the smell."

Gemma Whelan comments: "I'm so delighted to be back on stage alongside David and working with Ben Elton again. Amongst the pure unadulterated silliness of 1605, we get to tackle real, modern day issues in a brilliant show full of twists, turns, surprises and a dancing animal!"

Ben Elton adds: "The Bard is back! The theatres were closed due to plague in Shakespeare's day just as they have been in our own, so I couldn't be prouder and happier that The Upstart Crow is once more bringing the laughter to the West End."

The show's blurb is as follows: "'Tis 1605 and England's greatest playwright is in trouble. Will Shakespeare has produced just two plays; Measure For Measure, which according to King James was incomprehensible bollingbrokes by any measure, and All's Well That End's Well which didn't even end well. Will desperately needs to maketh a brilliant new play to bolster his reputation and avoid being cast aside by King and country. But Will's personal life is encountering more dramatic twists and turns than any theatrical story he can conjure. How the futtock can a Bard be expected to find a plot for a play whilst his daughters run amok and his house is used as refuge for any old waif and stray. As time runs out, can Will hold on to his dream of being recognised now and for all time, as indisputably the greatest writer that ever lived, or will family woes thwart Will's chances of producing his masterwork?"

The play will run at Apollo Theatre from 23rd September to 3rd December. Tickets are now available

Upstart Crow - The Scripts

It's the 1590s. William Shakespeare - brought to life on screen by the inimitable David Mitchell - is at the start of his career. But no one is taking him seriously. In London, he is mercilessly mocked by his rivals and at home in Stratford he is belittled by his sullen teenage daughter.

Yet he is determined to find an ending for his newest creation Romeo and Juliet. Luckily, inspiration is forthcoming. The trials and tribulations of his closest friends and family reveal the plot twists he'd been missing. And not only for this famous tragedy but for many of his finest plays.

With sparkling wordplay, hilarious gags and his trademark wit, Ben Elton celebrates the great William Shakespeare and reveals the startling stories behind the playwright's best-known plays.

First published: Thursday 18th October 2018

Not in the UK?

Fear not! Many items can still be ordered. Amazon in the UK delivers to many international territories, whilst their Australia, USA and Canada stores also supply many equivalent or imported items.

If you are in the North America, look out for US/Canadian flag icons on popular product listings for direct links.

If you order from a UK store, please note that the UK is in Region 2 and B, respectively, for DVDs and Blu-rays - check your player's compatibility, or look for multi-region products if you are located in another region.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand (DVD Region 4), note that almost all DVDs distributed in the UK by the BBC and 2entertain are encoded for both Region 2 and Region 4. The UK and Australasia are in the same Blu-ray region (B).

Upstart Crow - The Complete Series 1-3 And The Christmas Specials

Based on the facts we know about William Shakespeare, Ben Elton's critically acclaimed sitcom is about the life of the world's favourite bard as it just might have been.

This box set includes the complete Series 1 to 3 and the 2017 and 2018 Christmas specials of the hit BBC Two sitcom.

First released: Monday 14th January 2019

  • Distributor: BBC
  • Region: 2 & 4
  • Discs: 4
  • Minutes: 592
  • Subtitles: English
  • Catalogue: BBCDVD4309

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Not in the UK?

Fear not! Many items can still be ordered. Amazon in the UK delivers to many international territories, whilst their Australia, USA and Canada stores also supply many equivalent or imported items.

If you are in the North America, look out for US/Canadian flag icons on popular product listings for direct links.

If you order from a UK store, please note that the UK is in Region 2 and B, respectively, for DVDs and Blu-rays - check your player's compatibility, or look for multi-region products if you are located in another region.

If you are in Australia or New Zealand (DVD Region 4), note that almost all DVDs distributed in the UK by the BBC and 2entertain are encoded for both Region 2 and Region 4. The UK and Australasia are in the same Blu-ray region (B).

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