Upstart Crow

Upstart Crow

5 (1) · Comedy

Ben Elton's acclaimed sitcom comes to the stage

“"Joyously silly" is the critical consensus for the stage version of Ben Elton's hit BBC sitcom. David Mitchell is marvellously funny as Britain's greatest thesp and so is his brilliant co-star Gemma Whelan (who played Yara Greyjoy in Game of Thrones)”


'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?

Ben Elton brings his critically acclaimed and much adored BBC sitcom UPSTART CROW to its natural home, the stage, with an all-new comic play set to delight London's West End.

Starring David Mitchell, once more donning the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare and Gemma Whelan as the sweet and fragrant Kate.

Critic reviews

Authentically Shakespearean right down to the puffling pants

The Guardian

A deliriously silly adaptation of the acclaimed sitcom

The Independent

There are no flagons of ale on sale in the foyer but Ben Elton still turns a West End audience into noisily contented groundlings

The Times

It is entirely captivating


The stage version of Ben Elton’s Shakespeare sitcom is elevated by a fantastic comedy cast

The Stage

Welcome back Ben Elton, all is forgiven

The Telegraph

Terrific Shakespeare spoof

The Arts Desk

Panto meets pentameters in funny but exhausting Shakespearean play

Evening Standard

This stage reprise of the Ben Elton-penned David Mitchell sitcom plays endearing homage to a fistful of Shakespeare’s plays

Time Out

The piece is an amiable night out at the theatre with some familiar faces delivering their usual quips

Broadway World

The result is an old-fashioned West End comedy that returns Ben Elton to Shaftesbury Avenue with a play

London Theatre

Shakespeare is meant for the stage, and Elton’s take on him is no exception

The Upcoming

With the perfect mix of schoolboy humour, literary references, historical facts and over the top plot twists


A rollicking ride

West End Wilma

Date & time

Show ended
Fri 7 Feb - Sat 25 Apr, 2.30pm & 7.30pm
Runtime: 2 hrs


Shaftesbury Avenue W1D 6AR London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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