Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Will's Having a Bard Day; PICK OF THE DAY UPSTART CROW BBC2, 10pm

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Will's Having a Bard Day; PICK OF THE DAY UPSTART CROW BBC2, 10pm

Article excerpt

Byline: today's tv With Sara Wallis

WILLIAM Shakespeare may well be a British icon and indeed one of the greatest writers who ever lived - but the legendary Bard was also just some bloke from the Midlands.

And a busy one at that, constantly commuting (probably on a donkey) between work in London and his family in Stratford-upon-Avon. What a thoroughly modern man.

Well it's with this in mind that author and comedian Ben Elton has waded into the BBC's anniversary celebrations (it's 400 years since Shakespeare died) and penned this very funny sitcom starring David Mitchell as a fictional Will Shakespeare.

In fact, comparisons are already being made to the award-winning 80s comedy, Blackadder - not surprising since Elton is behind them both.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, this has the feel of an old-school sitcom, while its content is most certainly modern, packed with gags and nods to today's society and politics.

"It's a huge pleasure to play a script written with gags that land, because you say the joke, people laugh, and it feels in your brain like you made it up yourself," says David, who looks resplendent in a bald cap and wig and is perfectly cast here. …

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