Upstart Crow has been created by Blackadder writer Ben Elton
BBC Two has commissioned a new sitcom from writer and comedian Ben Elton about William Shakespeare's early career.
Upstart Crow is due to be broadcast on BBC Two in 2016 as part of the BBC’s Shakespeare Festival, marking 400 years since Shakespeare's death.
The series follows a young Will Shakespeare, played by actor and comedian David Mitchell, as he begins his extraordinary career, finding inspiration from the most unlikely of sources.
Elton’s comedy reimagining of Shakespeare’s early professional and family life has an all-star cast including Harry Enfield (Harry and Paul), Paula Wilcox (Emmerdale), actress and presenter Liza Tarbuck as Anne Hathaway, and Mark Heap as Shakespeare’s nemesis, Sir Robert Greene.
Myfanwy Moore, Controller of UK Comedy Production, said “The BBC Two audience are in for a real treat.” While Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, Kim Shillinglaw, praised the “extraordinarily inventive new series.”
Ben Elton said “I have tried very hard to think myself into Shakespeare’s creative world, writing only with a small chicken feather and not changing my underpants for a year.”
David Mitchell added “I’m delighted to be playing England’s greatest bard at this difficult time for bards everywhere. You just try getting work as a bard these days. It’s virtually impossible.”
The series is part of the BBC Shakespeare Festival which will launch on 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday, and will continue for a month across the network.