Deadline reports that BBC Two has ordered Upstart Crow, a six-part series about the life of William Shakespeare starring Peep Show’s David Mitchell as the famed bard.
Written by Blackadder’s Ben Elton, Upstart Crow will focus on Shakespeare during the beginning of his career, and the unlikely places from which he drew inspiration. “I have tried very hard to think myself into Shakespeare’s creative world,” Elton told Deadline, “writing only with a small chicken feather and not changing my underpants for a year.”
The title derives from Groats-worth of Witte by playwright Robert Greene, a pamphlet published posthumously that contains an infamous dig at Shakespeare, accusing him of being an actor feigning to be a writer.
The series will also star Harry Enfield, Paula Wilcox, Liza Tarbuck, and Gemma Whelan (whom viewers might recognize as Yara Greyjoy from Game of Thrones). Upstart Crow will premiere as part of BBC’s 2016 Shakespeare Festival, a block of programming and events that will mark the four centuries since Shakespeare’s death. Other programs include three new installments of BBC Two’s The Hollow Crown starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench, as well as an adaptation of A Midsummer’s Night Dream by Russel T. Davies on BBC One.