Upstart Crow (2016– )
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Beware My Sting! 

Will is thrilled with his new play about a bright, strong-headed young woman crushed into submission by the man in her life, Kate and Anne less so. Will decides to test the theme of the play out on his stroppy daughter.


Richard Boden


Ben Elton, Ben Elton (created by)

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Episode cast overview:
David Mitchell ... Will Shakespeare
Rob Rouse Rob Rouse ... Bottom
Gemma Whelan ... Kate
Jocelyn Jee Esien Jocelyn Jee Esien ... Lucy
Liza Tarbuck ... Anne Shakespeare
Rosanna Beacock Rosanna Beacock ... Judith Shakespeare
Joe Willis Joe Willis ... Hamnet Shakespeare
Helen Monks ... Susanna Shakespeare
Paula Wilcox ... Mary Shakespeare
Harry Enfield ... John Shakespeare
Steve Speirs ... Burbage
Mark Heap ... Robert Greene
Spencer Jones ... Kempe
Dominic Coleman ... Condell
Tim Downie ... Kit Marlowe


Kate wants Will to write a play about a strong woman but, since most theatre goers are male, Will intends for a man to humiliate her. Inspiration comes when elder daughter Susanna's headstrong attitude deters suitors for her sweet younger sister Judith and so the idea for the Taming of the Shrew is born. Greene plans to have the play banned by persuading Queen Elizabeth that it is sexist but Kit tricks him into allowing it to go ahead though Will's attempts to tame Susanna by the play's methods fail. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

11 September 2017 (UK) See more »

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User Reviews

Beware My Sting!
31 January 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Ben Elton has had a few lean years in his comedy output. I speak as a fan who has seen his comedy live.

However he seems to have got his mojo back in this second series of Upstart Crow, it has been getting better and in this episode he blasts the ball out of the park.

Elton rather takes down Will in his views on strong minded women as displayed in his draft of Taming of the Shrew. After all as Will remarks, the patrons who pay to watch the plays are all men. Will also uses the plot of the play to tame his own daughter Susanna.

Sir Robert Greene plans to have Will's play banned until Kit Marlowe persuades him otherwise as the play has a longstanding unmarried woman which is bound to upset Queen Elizabeth.

Elton deftly combs the various strands of Shakespeare's writings and injects biting comedy to it.

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