West End and Broadway stages have long been a recycling centre for successful film titles, usually becoming musicals but occasionally plays (like The Graduate that played at this address); now TV series are also increasingly making the transition, like Only Fools and Horses (still at the Haymarket) and now Upstart Crow, Ben Elton's sitcom here renamed with a definitive article to become The Upstart Crow, but hardly making for a definitive piece of theatre. Read more
David Mitchell stars as the Bard himself in a brand new stage adaptation of his hilarious historical TV sitcom Upstart Crow, set to open at the Gielgud Theatre in February 2020.
Written by Ben Elton, known for penning TV series such as The Young Ones and Blackadder as well as musicals We Will Rock You and Love Never Dies, the series first aired in 2016 as part of the commemorations for 400 years since William Shakespeare’s death. The show follows the writing and preparations of the premiere of Romeo and Juliet in 1592, with each episode alluding in some way to a Shakespeare play.
Mitchell will reprise his role in the show on stage as he plays Shakespeare alongside Gemma Whelan, who also reprises her role from the series as Kate, the daughter of Shakespeare’s landlord who wants to become an actor.
Upstart Crow will run at the Gielgud Theatre from 7th February 2020 to 25th April, with an official opening night on 18th February. Upstart Crow tickets are available now.
The stage adaptation of the TV show will be set in 1605, a point in time where Shakespeare had only written All’s Well That Ends Well and Measure for Measure, leaving Britain’s greatest playwright in need of a hit. But as he battles his personal life to put pen to paper, can he fulfil his potential?
The production will mark David Mitchell’s West End debut, having previously appeared in a stage version of his award-winning sketch comedy show with his writing partner Robert Webb. He is also known for his television appearances in the Channel 4 series Peep Show, and is a team captain on the BBC panel show Would I Lie to You?