Theatre / Interview

Watch the cast of Upstart Crow preview the show

The stage adaptation of the hit BBC sitcom opens in London's West End in February 2020.

David Mitchell will reprise his role of William Shakespeare as the hit BBC sitcom Upstart Crow is adapted to the stage for the first time.

The critically acclaimed Ben Elton creation will debut at London’s Gielgud Theatre on Friday 7 February 2020, running until Saturday 25 April 2020.

Gemma Whelan is also set to star in the forthcoming adaptation, reprising her role of Kate from the series.

In the video above, watch Mitchell, Whelan and Elton discuss what it means to them to be bringing Upstart Crow to the stage for the first time.

The cast for the adaptation also includes Mark Heap as Dr John Hall, Helen Monks as Susanna, Rob Rouse as Bottom, Steve Speirs as Burbage, Jason Callender as Arragon, Danielle Phillips as Judith and Rachel Summers as Desiree.

The play’s synopsis reads:

‘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 mark David Mitchell’s West End debut. Aside from his lauded role of Shakespeare in Upstart Crow, he is perhaps most well known for his long-running role as the socially awkward Mark Corrigan in the award-winning Channel 4 sitcom Peep Show. Mitchell is joined by Gemma Whelen, who is best known for her performances as Yara Greyjoy on the huge HBO hit Game Of Thrones.

Discover more:

Photos: Check out Upstart Crow in rehearsal

Photos: Check out Upstart Crow in production

Mark Heap, Helen Monks, Rob Rouse, and Steve Speirs all starred in the BBC Two sitcom of the same name, airing from 2016 until 2018.

The play will be directed by Oliver Award-winner Sean Foley (Do You Come Here Often, The Play What I Wrote) 

Upstart Crow will be showing at London’s Gielgud Theatre from 7 February-25 April 2020.

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