Upstart Crow. Will Shakespeare (David Mitchell). Copyright: BBC.

Upstart Crow

BBC Two sitcom about William Shakespeare. 20 episodes (3 series), 2016 - 2018. Stars David Mitchell, Rob Rouse, Gemma Whelan, Liza Tarbuck and others.

Upstart Crow. Image shows from L to R: Bottom (Rob Rouse), Kate (Gemma Whelan), Burbage (Steve Speirs), Marlowe (Tim Downie), Will Shakespeare (David Mitchell), Condell (Dominic Coleman), Sir Robert Greene (Mark Heap), Kempe (Spencer Jones), Lucy (Jocelyn Jee Esien), Morley (Noel Fielding). Copyright: BBC.

Series 2, Episode 4 - Food Of Love

Will invents the musical. He needs help from the greatest songwriter of the age, Thomas Morley, who has some ideas of his own.

Further details

Will Shakespeare takes it badly when everybody tells him his new play about two sets of identical twins separated at birth and given the same names is rather far-fetched, until he hits on a sure fire way to stop any audience minding when the plot gets really ridiculous - make it a musical.

In fact, he's going to make it the first ever musical. And to really guarantee a hit he wants to use the songs of Thomas Morley, a rocking, rolling, madrigal-composing, tax-avoiding Tudor music legend.

Back in Stratford, Will's dad John is determined to get Will to use his new-found writing fame to make the Shakespeare family properly posh, which turns out to be rather a big ask.

Broadcast details

Date
Monday 2nd October 2017
Time
8:30pm
Channel
BBC Two
Length
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
David Mitchell Will Shakespeare
Rob Rouse Bottom
Gemma Whelan Kate
Liza Tarbuck Anne Hathaway
Harry Enfield John Shakespeare
Paula Wilcox Mary Arden
Helen Monks Susanna
Steve Speirs Burbage
Tim Downie Marlowe
Dominic Coleman Condell
Mark Heap Sir Robert Greene
Spencer Jones Kempe
Jocelyn Jee Esien Lucy
Rosanna Beacock Judith
Joe Willis Hamnet
Guest cast
Noel Fielding Morley
Andrew Bicknell Spencer
Mark Phoenix Kydd
Simon Coleman Nashe
Writing team
Ben Elton Writer
Production team
Richard Boden Director
Gareth Edwards Producer
Chris Sussman Executive Producer
Paywall

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • See 2 press clippings related to this episode
  • Broadcast details of 8 further repeats of this episode
  • This episode's inital overnight ratings
  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see composer, production designer, editor, casting director, lighting designer, costume designer & make-up designer credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?