"theatrically, the definite article"
-The Guardian-

"a palpable hit"

"[an] endearing tribute to the Bard"
-Time Out-

Sorry, Upstart Crow closed on 25 Apr 2020

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About the show

David Mitchell makes his West End debut in 2020 as the ultimate theatrical figure, Shakespeare. Resuming his role as the playwright from BBC sitcom Upstart Crow, Mitchell will tread the Gielgud Theatre boards for a limited season of comic mishaps.

Set in 1605, Upstart Crow drops in on Shakespeare as he’s struggling to make his mark in theatre history. King James has roundly panned Measure for Measure and All’s Well That Ends Well and things aren’t looking great at home either. As he battles personal and professional precarity, can the greatest Western playwright live up to his legend?

Mitchell stars as William Shakespeare after playing the role to audience and critical acclaim on BBC Two. He is a regular panellist on Mock the Week and Would I Lie to You? and appeared on Peep Show alongside Robert Webb.

He is joined in Upstart Crow in the West End by Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) as aspiring actress Kate, Helen Monks as Susanna, Rob Rouse as Bottom and Steve Speirs as Burbage.

The play is adapted from the television show by Ben Elton, who is best-known for iconic comedies Blackadder and The Young Ones and directed by Sean Foley (The Man in the White Suit).

Find out if “all’s well that ends well” for Will Shakespeare in this madcap re-imagining of the master playwright’s life. Catch Upstart Crow at the Gielgud Theatre from 7 February 2020.

Who Should See It?

Fans of David Mitchell shouldn’t wait to get tickets to his West End debut. Upstart Crow is also a great choice for fans of historical comedies like Blackadder and Horrible Histories.

Playing at

Gielgud Theatre
35 Shaftesbury Avenue
Seating Plan

Gielgud Theatre seating plan

Booking period

7th Feb 2020

19th Jan 2021

25th Apr 2020

Running time

2 hours 15 minutes (including interval)


TBC. All persons aged under 16 must be accompanied and sat next to the accompanying adult. They may not sit on their own within the auditorium. If children do have separate seats, entry could be refused.