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Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!

Series 3 - Episode 1 Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!



I’ll admit to being a latecomer to Ben Elton’s Upstart Crow, having missed series one entirely and only hopping aboard come series two. And though it’s arch and silly, I can’t help but like it.

I know, I know, it has wildly annoying studio audience laughter and it’s little more than a passingly intellectual, very broad pantomime. But hey ho, Upstart Crow harms no one, it’s got a good heart in its own way, and it’s so daft it’s impossible to despise (knowing how angry viewers can become about comedy).

Will (David Mitchell) is trying out A Midsummer Night’s Dream on his players. But they think it’s boring and stupid, while back at his London lodgings Kate (Gemma Whelan) wonders whether “a drugged person [Titania] is capable of giving consent”.

There are the usual modern-parallel gags about public transport and, of course, some low fun with the name “Puck”.


New series. Will is just finishing writing A Midsummer Night's Dream, a tale of love potions, enchantment and a wood full of fairies. He's very pleased with how realistic it is as he based it on his own experience, but Burbage and the other actors tell him it lacks a little comedy. Meanwhile, Kate has problems of her own, because Lord Egeus, a rather old but very wealthy gentleman, has taken a shine to her.

Cast & Crew

Will Shakespeare David Mitchell
Anne Shakespeare Liza Tarbuck
John Shakespeare Harry Enfield
Kit Marlowe Tim Downie
Kate Gemma Whelan
Mary Shakespeare Paula Wilcox
Robert Greene Mark Heap
Lord Egeus Nigel Planer
Bottom Rob Rouse
Burbage Steve Speirs
Condell Dominic Coleman
Kempe Spencer Jones
Judith Shakespeare Rosanna Beacock
Hamnet Shakespeare Joe Willis
Susanna Shakespeare Helen Monks
Puck Ken Nwosu
Director Richard Boden
Executive Producer Chris Sussman
Producer Gareth Edwards
Writer Ben Elton
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