David Mitchell to bring Upstart Crow to the stage in West End debut

The former Peep Show star will tread the boards as his frustrated version of Ben Elton's bard next year.

David Mitchell will make his West End debut next year in a new stage version of Upstart Crow.

The actor will bring his portrayal of William Shakespeare to London’s Gielgud Theatre in the adaptation by show creator Ben Elton.

Billed as an all-new comedy written especially for the stage, Mitchell will be joined in the production by his co-star Gemma Whelan, who plays Kate in the series.

Upstart Crow
David Mitchell as William Shakespeare in Upstart Crow (BBC)

They will be joined by a troupe of players for the 11-week run of the show, which is directed by Olivier Award-winner Sean Foley.

Mitchell, also known for starring in Peep Show and Would I Lie To You?, said: “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.”

Set in 1605, Shakespeare is in trouble following the grim reception of his plays Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well.

Ben Elton
Ben Elton (Ian West/PA)

The bard must lift his game or risk facing the wrath of King James, but he is distracted from creating a brilliant new plot by family troubles, including his friend and housekeeper Kate’s decision to “liberate” the Globe Theatre’s prize dancing bear from exploitation, meaning the distressed animal is kept in the scullery.

The show runs from February 7 to April 25 next year.

Upstart Crow started in 2016 and has run for three series on BBC Two.

Tickets for Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre are on sale from 12pm Wednesday.

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