David Mitchell in The Upstart Crow

The Upstart Crow Reviews at the Apollo Theatre

Reviews are in for The Upstart Crow at the Apollo Theatre in London.

The acclaimed comedy is back in London for a strictly limited 10-week season at the Apollo Theatre until 3 December 2022.

Based on the smash-hit BBC comedy, David Mitchell moves from the screen to the stage to play Will Shakespeare in the show, alongside Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones) as Kate, Helen Monks (Raised by Wolves/Inside No. 9) as Susanna and Rob Rouse (Grownups) as Bottom. 

The cast also includes Olivier Award-winner John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory’s Girl, Traces) as Dr John Hall, Gloria Onitiri (Urban Myths, The Bodyguard) as Desiree, Stewart Wright (Smack the Pony) as Burbage, Jason Callender (Shadow and Bone, 4 O’Clock Club) as Arragon, Danielle Phillips (Masters of the Air, Evening Standard Future Award 2021) as Judith and Reice Weathers (Story of My Life, Ted Lasso) as Mr Whiskers. The cast is completed by Andrew Hodges, Dedun Omole and Annabel Smith.

Based on Ben Elton’s hit BBC comedy, the Olivier Award nominated play is written by Ben Elton and directed by Sean Foley.

In the comedy, it’s 1605 and England’s greatest playwright is in trouble, with Will Shakespeare desperately needing a brilliant new play to bolster his reputation and avoid being cast aside by King and country!

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The Upstart Crow reviews

The Telegraph

"Laugh-til-it-hurts panto pleasure"

"After a hit 2020 premiere, this exuberant hybrid of Shakespeare in Love and Blackadder went dark for two years. All's well that ends well"

"The David Mitchell-led BBC sitcom Upstart Crow made a triumphant transfer to the stage in February 2020, only to see the playhouses closed by Covid. Happily, all’s well that ends well: Ben Elton’s comedy is back, with Mitchell resuming his excellent West End debut."

"The production has heart as well. Shakespeare is still grieving the loss of his son Hamnet, and gradually reconnects with his heavily- Brummy-accented daughters (the perfectly stroppy Helen Monks and Danielle Phillips). A welcome return for this merry feast of a show."

Marianka Swain, The Telegraph
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The Evening Standard

"David Mitchell is the draw in this hectic sitcom spin-off"

"A vehicle for panto acting and a machine-gun barrage of gags"

"Bar a couple of lines about levelling up, the show is the same mix of clever and oafish, worshipful and mocking – a vehicle for panto acting and a machine-gun barrage of gags. Some of the humour is rooted in a deep appreciation of Shakespeare’s work, others in the belief that calling a penis a “cod-dangle” is innately hilarious. Sean Foley’s arch, knowing production proceeds at a hectic pace that’s exhausting to watch."

"Mitchell is of course adroit at blending high and low comedy and is clearly the draw here: at the performance I saw, he got a warm hand on his entrance. If you buy into the lameness of the set-ups, the deliberate tackiness of the Alice Power’s set and costumes, the mugging and the asides, its entertaining and sometimes erudite fun."

Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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📷 Main photo: David Mitchell in The Upstart Crow. Photo by Johan Persson

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