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If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed? 

Sheltering Kit, who has feigned his own death, Will is interrupted in writing 'The Merchant of Venice' by Kate, who has been on a rally to protest against the anti-immigration riots. Taking... See full summary »


Richard Boden


Ben Elton, Ben Elton (created by)


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Tim Downie ... Marlowe
David Mitchell ... Will
Rob Rouse Rob Rouse ... Bottom
Gemma Whelan ... Kate
Steve Speirs ... Burbage
Dominic Coleman ... Condell
Spencer Jones ... Kempe
Ben Miller ... Wolf Hall
Mark Heap ... Greene
Jocelyn Jee Esien Jocelyn Jee Esien ... Lucy
Liza Tarbuck ... Anne
Paula Wilcox ... Mary
Helen Monks ... Susanna
Harry Enfield ... John
Rosanna Beacock Rosanna Beacock ... Judith


Sheltering Kit, who has feigned his own death, Will is interrupted in writing 'The Merchant of Venice' by Kate, who has been on a rally to protest against the anti-immigration riots. Taking his lead from her Will decides that the money-lender in his new play should be a sympathetic Jew and soulful actor Wolf Hall is cast in the role. However, due to Greene's connivance, he does not last long in the role which reverts to caricature. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy | History



Did You Know?


The title is taken from 'The Merchant of Venice', Act 3 Scene 1. See more »


Robert Greene died in 1592 and The Merchant of Venice is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. See more »


Susanna Shakespeare: My class is full of insensitve bastables like Grandad was. I just wish there was a way I could make them see that this kid has exactly the same feelings and exactly the same human value as they do.
Anne Shakespeare: Well, maybe you should speak to your father about it. He can be very astute on matters of human nature.
Susanna Shakespeare: And he knows a bit about being bullied, too. He started going bald when he was seven.
See more »


Spoofs Wolf Hall (2015) See more »

User Reviews

If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed?
25 October 2018 | by Prismark10See all my reviews

Ben Elton deals with hostility towards recent immigrant communities, anti semitism, comic relief and pokes a gentle dig at actors like Mark Rylance who questions the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. It is another good and funny episode.

Will is grappling with his new play. Another comedy has been requested by Burbage. Will has an idea of a play set in Venice and one involving a moneylender.

Kate meanwhile is helping Dutch refugees who people in London have turned against.

More importantly Will is wowed by a new actor, Wolf Hall. He eschews shoutiness and goes for long deep stares and contemplation.

Robert Greene sets a trap for Hall to question Will if he really did write his plays. Elton deals with this by alluding that Will had been influenced by the Gesta Romanorum.

It is brave of Elton to poke fun of Comic Relief especially as he was so heavily involved in its early days. Even braver to deal with Jewish stereotyping.

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Release Date:

12 September 2018 (UK) See more »

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