Upstart Crow (2016– )
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The Apparel Proclaims the Man 

An invitation to Lord Southampton's party offers Will the chance to move up in the world. But what should a poorly-educated country boy wear to such an event? And are Greene's fashion tips a ruse?


Matt Lipsey


Ben Elton, Ben Elton (created by)




Episode complete credited cast:
David Mitchell ... Will
Tim Downie ... Marlowe
Gemma Whelan ... Kate
Rob Rouse Rob Rouse ... Bottom
Mark Heap ... Greene
Dominic Coleman ... Condell
Steve Speirs ... Burbage
Spencer Jones ... Kempe
Helen Monks ... Susanna
Sebastian Barker Sebastian Barker ... Hamnet
Emma Barker Emma Barker ... Judith
Liza Tarbuck ... Anne
Harry Enfield ... John
Paula Wilcox ... Mary
Jason Forbes Jason Forbes ... Footman


With his trilogy of plays about Henry VI a success Will is invited to Lord Southampton's party. Despite Robert Greene's withering reviews, terming him an upstart crow Will decides to attend the party in figure-hugging tights but gets an apology from Greene, who advises a change of costume - still not to his advantage. Ultimately Will's family and Kit Marlowe step in to save the day, though Kit demands his price for helping. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy | History


TV-PG | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official Site





Release Date:

23 May 2016 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Comedy See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Green attempts to trick Shakespeare into wearing yellow cross-garters, a reference to 'Twelfth Night,' the play which also includes the quotation on which the title of the episode is based. See more »


Will Shakespeare: Robert Greene, who doth hate my gutlings...
See more »

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User Reviews

Upstart Crow 3
27 June 2016 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

It is hard to avoid comparisons with Blackadder II as this episode is the most Blackadderish.

Mark Heap as Shakespeare's nemesis Sir Robert Greene really has got it in for the bard. He decides to destroy him by becoming a critic and slating his plays. As Shakespeare notes everyone with a quill twittering away.

When Will is invited to Lord Southampton's swanky party he sees this as an opportunity for some social climbing but when Sir Robert Greene gives him some fashion tips about wearing garish stockings for this posh do, Will has to decide whether it is a bluff or not or even a double bluff.

Not to worry Kit Marlowe is quick to the rescue especially as he is grateful that Will has let him have that Jew play.

The highlight of the episode was Harry Enfield as Will's dad with a Brummie accent having a dump in a bucket.

After three episodes I am actually looking forward to the next one as the quality has been really good.

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