The Upstart Crow West End reviews – what did critics make of the stage production?

The Upstart Crow West End reviews roundup

Reviews are in for The Upstart Crow in London’s West End – what did the critics make of it?

The all-new comedy – written especially for the stage – sees David Mitchell once more don the bald wig and bardish coddling pouch in his iconic characterisation of Will Shakespeare.

The hit BBC TV sitcom has been adapted for the stage by Ben Elton, who wrote the TV series, and is directed by Olivier award-winner Sean Foley (The Ladykillers, Jeeves and Wooster and The Miser).

Joining Mitchell on the cast is Gemma Whelan as Kate, Helen Monks as Susanna, Rob Rouse as Ned Bottom and Steve Speirs as Richard Burbage. Meanwhile, Mark Heap, who played Robert Greene in the TV series, plays new character, Dr John Hall. Further cast includes Danielle Phillips, Jason Callender and Rachel Summers

The West End production opened at the Gielgud Theatre from February 7 for a limited 11-week run through to April 25.

What did the critics make of The Upstart Crow in London’s West End?

The Upstart Crow London reviews

The Guardian – 5/5
“David Mitchell is engaging and confident as Ben Elton brings his hit TV sitcom to the stage – it’s the definite article.” – Read the full review

The Telegraph – 4/5
“Like a once-favoured jester banished from court who returns from exile to make amends, Ben Elton has restored himself to favour in theatreland with this joyously silly spin-off to his much-loved BBC Shakespeare sitcom, aided and abetted by a West End debut from David Mitchell as the Bard.” – Read the full review

The Times – 4/5
“There are no flagons of ale on sale in the foyer but Ben Elton still turns a West End audience into noisily contented groundlings. One of the many pleasures of this high-spirited version of his Shakespearean BBC sitcom is that the spectators and the actors are on such intimate terms.” – Read the full review

The Independent – 4/5
“A deliriously silly adaptation of the acclaimed sitcom […] Ben Elton’s critically acclaimed Bard-centred sitcom has forsaken the relative safety of the small screen in order to expose itself to the slings and arrows of the outrageous fortune that is live performance.” – Read the full review

Daily Mail – 4/5
“The play is Jacobean satire straight out of the Blackadder playbook, but with a greater density of farcical sub-plots and mucky one-liners.” – Read the full review

London Evening Standard – 3/5
“It’s what we expect from Elton but at times I wished for some let-up in the relentless, snarky, sledgehammer wit. A pause, a pause: my kingdom for a pause.” – Read the full review

Upstart Crow plays Gielgud Theatre, London currently booking through to April 25, 2020.

Book The Upstart Crow London tickets here »

The standard performance schedule is Monday-Saturday at 7:30PM with 2:30PM matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

More on: Reviews

About the author: Jessica White

Recent University graduate Jessica is the newest writer for Stageberry. She's over the moon to be sharing her theatre knowledge and passion for musicals with the online world.


Follow us