also starring Gemma Whelan as Kate
Directed By Sean Foley
A Troupe of Players appearing at
APOLLO THEATRE, SHAFTESBURY AVENUE, LONDON
10 WEEKS ONLY!
FRIDAY 23 SEPTEMBER - SATURDAY 03 DECEMBER 2022
'The most consistently funny comedy since One Man Two Guvnors.'
'Ben Elton is at his finest - It's a play even the great bard would be proud of.'
About Upstart Crow
'A hit, a hit, an implausible hit!' (Independent) Ben Elton's five-star Olivier award-nominated stage production of the critically acclaimed and much adored BBC sitcom UPSTART CROW, returns to the West End stage.
Starring 'the genius' (Daily Mail) David Mitchell, will once more don the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare and Gemma Whelan 'winningly reprises her role' (Evening Standard) as the sweet and fragrant Kate.
David Mitchell says: "I'm delighted to have the opportunity to bring history's most famous balding dramatist to the West End via the amazing comic imagination of Ben Elton. Theatre goers can look forward to a comedy steeped in authentic Shakespearean ambience in every way apart from the smell."
'Tis 1605 and England's greatest playwright is in trouble. Will Shakespeare has produced just two plays and desperately needs to maketh a brilliant new show to bolster his reputation and avoid being cast aside by King and country. 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?
Running Time 100 minutes plus one interval.
The Arts Desk
DAVID MITCHELL as WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
David Mitchell grew up in Oxford. He was miserable at a Dickensian primary school but happy at Cambridge, where he was president of Footlights and met his comedy partner Robert Webb. Together they have starred in the BAFTA-winning series THAT MITCHELL AND WEBB LOOK and PEEP SHOW.
Mitchell has been a team captain on BBC One's ever popular WOULD I LIE TO YOU for ten series, he presented Channel 4's 10 O'CLOCK LIVE, hosts Radio 4's THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH and has appeared on pretty much every British TV or radio panel show. In 2016 David began his role as William Shakespeare in Ben Elton's new six part comedy series UPSTART CROW for the BBC, which subsequently ran for a further 2 series and specials.
Following the critical success of his memoir BACK STORY, his latest book, DISHONESTY IS THE SECOND-BEST POLICY: AND OTHER RULES TO LIVE BY, has just been released.
David has recently starred with Robert Mitchell in 2 series of Back for Channel 4.
GEMMA WHELAN as KATE
British actress and comedian Gemma Whelan is known for her varied body of work. Whelan can be seen in DI RAY on ITV and was recently seen in THE TOWER for Mammoth Screen/ITV. Whelan starred AMC and BBC One in the third series of the hugely successful and critically acclaimed KILLING EVE as “Geraldine.”
Before the theatre shutdown in London, Whelan reprised her role of “Kate” for a stage version of Ben Elton’s UPSTART CROW in the West End’s Gielgud Theatre. Audiences also saw Whelan play the role of “Mrs. Weston” in Working Title’s re-make of Jane Austen’s EMMA. She also stars in the first and second series of GENTLEMAN JACK for the BBC and HBO. Before this, Whelan reprised her role of “Yara Greyjoy” in the Emmy® nominated final series of GAME OF THRONES on HBO.
Previously, Whelan appeared on stage in A SLIGHT ACHE and THE DUMB WAITER. In 2017 Whelan was seen in BBC’s THE MOORSIDE, DECLINE AND FALL, UPSTART CROW, QUEERS and THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD on Channel 4 and Netflix. Whelan has appeared in BBC’s UNCLE, Morgana Robinson’s THE AGENCY, ASYLUM, MAPP AND LUCIA, HETTY FEATHER, HORRIBLE HISTORIES,THE PERSUASIONISTS and MURDER IN SUCCESSVILLE.Other television credits include NOT SAFE FOR WORK, SIBLINGS, BADULTS, THE HARRY & PAUL SHOW and THREESOME.
On stage Whelan has appeared in RADIANT VERMIN and DARK VANILLA JUNGLE both at the Soho Theatre. Other theatre credits include Nicholas ONE MAN TWO GUVNORS at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and National Theatre, STEPHEN AND THE SEXY PARTRIDGE at the Trafalgar Studios. In film Whelan played the role of “Len” in Alice Lowe’s PREVENGE and appeared in Universal’s GULLIVERS TRAVELS and THE WOLFMAN.