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The hilarious script book - with new introduction and annotations - to accompany Ben Elton's Upstart Crow, the BBC historical sitcom which is now entering its third series and attracts over 1.5 million viewers per episode.

"This does indeed deserve comparisons with Blackadder" Radio Times
"A knockabout, well-researched take on the working and domestic life of Shakespeare." The Guardian
It’s the 1590s. William Shakespeare – brought to life on screen by the inimitable David Mitchell – is at the start of his career. But no one is taking him seriously. In London, he is mercilessly mocked by his rivals and at home in Stratford he is belittled by his sullen teenage daughter.

Yet he is determined to find an ending for his newest creation Romeo and Juliet. Luckily, inspiration is forthcoming. The trials and tribulations of his closest friends and family reveal the plot twists he’d been missing. And not only for this famous tragedy but for many of his finest plays.

With sparkling wordplay, hilarious gags and his trademark wit, Ben Elton celebrates the great William Shakespeare and reveals the startling stories behind the playwright’s best-known plays.


A gag-packed riot

The Times

A knockabout, well-researched take on the working and domestic life of Shakespeare

The Guardian

Gloriously restores Elton's credentials as a reliable provider of quality sitcom

The Telegraph

It's really, really funny


The guffaws come thick and fast


Packed with gags


This does indeed deserve comparisons with Blackadder

Radio Times

A rollicking good comedy


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Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    November 15, 2018

    Bantam Press

    368 pages

    RRP $39.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 18, 2018

    Transworld Digital

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks