is a Upstart Crow British sitcom which premiered on 9 May 2016 at 10pm on BBC Two as part of the commemorations of the 400th anniversary of the death of  William Shakespeare. Its title quotes "an upstart Crow, beautified with our feathers", a critique of Shakespeare by his rival Robert Greene in the latter's . Groats-Worth of Wit 
The show is written by
Ben Elton and is set from 1592 (the year of Greene's quotation) onwards. Shakespeare is played by David Mitchell; his wife, Anne Hathaway, is played by Liza Tarbuck; and Greene himself by Mark Heap. The first series was directed by  Matt Lipsey, with subsequent series being directed by Richard Boden.
The first series follows the writing and preparation to stage
after William has gained some early career notoriety for his poetry, Romeo and Juliet and Henry VI . Events in each episode allude to one or more Shakespeare plays and usually end with Will discussing the events with Anne and either being inspired or dissuaded from using them in a future work. Along with the many Shakespearean references (including the use of Richard III asides and soliloquies) there are also several references to the television shows and Blackadder . There are The Office running gags in many episodes: the casual sexism towards Kate's attempts to become an actress, Shakespeare's coach journeys between London and Stratford which refer to modern motorway and railway journey frustrations, and are delivered in a style that references the 1970s sitcom , Shakespeare (and in one episode The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin Marlowe) demanding ale and pie from his servants or family, and Shakespeare frequently claiming credit for quotes that predate Elizabethan times (many of them now commonly misattributed to Shakespeare).
The second and third six-episode series were broadcast in 2017 and 2018, as well as two Christmas Day specials.
   In 2020, it was announced that a new Christmas special had been filmed.  
In September 2019, a stage play adaptation was announced for the
Gielgud Theatre, City of Westminster, also written by Elton and with Mitchell and several others reprising their roles. The play opened on 7 February 2020 under the title : Elton commented that it was "an entirely original excursion, not a 'TV adaptation' ". The Upstart Crow  
David Mitchell as Will Shakespeare, aspiring playwright who wishes to overcome his humble origins. He commutes between his family's home in Stratford-upon-Avon and Central London, where he does most of his work. Recurring humour is drawn from parallels between Will's travels and frustration with modern day transportation. 
Liza Tarbuck as Anne Hathaway, wife of Will, an older and commoner woman.
Paula Wilcox as Mary Arden, Shakespeare's mother, who looks down on Anne.
Helen Monks as Susanna, daughter of Shakespeare and Anne. According to her mother, "a grumpy little bitchington."
Harry Enfield as John Shakespeare, father of Will, formerly wealthy but less educated than his son. Will bases the Falstaff character on him.
Gemma Whelan as Kate, daughter of Shakespeare's London landlady; she yearns to become an actress.
Tim Downie as Kit Marlowe, playwright and spy. The series makes a recurring joke on the Marlovian theory of Shakespeare authorship, making Shakespeare the actual author of some of Marlowe's plays. Downie's portrayal resembles  Lord Flashheart from . Blackadder  
Rob Rouse as Ned Bottom, household servant of Shakespeare. He is the namesake of  Nick Bottom in . A Midsummer Night's Dream
Mark Heap as Robert Greene, Master of the Revels and author of . Shakespeare's nemesis. Greene's Groats-Worth of Wit 
Dominic Coleman as Henry Condell, actor, prominently of female roles.
Steve Speirs as Richard Burbage, actor and leader of Will's theatre company.
Spencer Jones as William Kempe, comic actor; his portrayal is a parody of Ricky Gervais.  Jocelyn Jee Esien as Miss Lucy, pub landlady, native to Africa and a former slave. Based on the historical Lucy Negro. 
The theme music is a 17th-century
English country dance tune called "Jamaica". This was first published in the 1670 4th Edition of  John Playford's , after Shakespeare's death.
The Dancing Master
Upstart Crow was positively received by critics.  The acting by David Mitchell and supporting cast including Harry Enfield, Liza Tarbuck and Mark Heap has also received praise.
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The Upstart Crow, Gielgud Theatre (2020), p. 
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