Upstart Crow News and Clips Roundup

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Upstart Crow debuted with 1.29 million (a 7.96% audience share) which is apparently quite good for the time slot. It also  had a decent write up across the board from the papers and comedy sites (links to a couple of good ones below). The show did however divide opinion on Twitter, but considering this is the first episode, I think that was to be suspected. With most of the negativity coming from claims of ‘canned laughter’, having been in the audience I can say this was not the case.

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http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/10/upstart-crow-review-ben-elton-comedy-shakespeare

http://www.chortle.co.uk/review/2016/05/09/24836/upstart_crow

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There’s also a poll you can vote in on Digital Spy:

http://www.digitalspy.com/tv/news/a793442/vote-was-bbc-twos-shakespeare-sitcom-upstart-crow-a-hit-comedy-or-a-tragedy/

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Here are a couple of previews for the next episode:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03tlwyz

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03tly5f

3 thoughts on “Upstart Crow News and Clips Roundup

  1. As you were in the audience can you say what sort of warm up you had? Or was this episode not the first you saw, or were they scenes recorded out of order? As a viewer to come in so hard as it did on TV with big laughs for really innocuous stuff I can see where all the claims of canned laughter are coming form.

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    • Hi there! I’d be happy to tell you. We had a great warm up man: Jarlath Regan, who’s quite well known in the stand up comedy circuit. With a sitcom recording they tend to act as more of a guide than a warm up, telling you bits about the show and in this case, Shakespeare in general. After about 5 minutes Jarlath introduced us to Ben Elton who did a bit of a warm up and a chat about Shakespeare for another 10. Then the cast were introduced and the episode began recording. Every scene is shot in order and most of the time shot twice, even if the scene had no mistakes, this is standard practice and I’ve never been to a sitcom recording where this hasn’t happened. In Between scenes Jarlath and sometimes Ben would jump in and do a bit of standup, but immediately stop when signalled to do so. Sometimes scenes that would have been too tricky to shoot in front of an audience where played in on monitors suspended above us. The first episode I saw recorded was actually next week’s. I understand people have a problem with the laughter track, but we were all honestly having a great time and the whole event was very exciting, that was the general feeling from the audience. Sometimes perhaps that doesn’t translate to television, or perhaps it just takes a while for a show to develop that kind of intimacy and connection with a viewer at home that you get from witnessing a live recording. Often sitcoms take quite a few series before they cement a place in people’s hearts. I hope you stick with the show, and enjoy it.

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      • Thanks, you were definitely whipped up a lot more than the rest of us. I tuned in expecting to like it, but I don’t. I think David Mitchell has limitations as an actor and they’re getting the performance out of him exactly as you’d expect, but it sounds an overstretched Mitchell and Webb sketch. My main problems are with the writing and the ego of Ben Elton.

        In my memory Blackadder never had audience laughter (maybe it did, maybe it didn’t) but I think Upstart Crow would have been a lot better without (ahem) you lot. Sorry. That way it wouldn’t be marked up as an out and out big comedy. Also I think someone needs to have said “no” to Elton and taken out all the knowing modern references that breaks the fourth wall (Cameron and the pigs head, etc.) and that awful David Brent. Egos shall speak until egos. I remember the last series of Noel’s House party, when he really lost it, and used the programme to service his personal vendettas.

        I shall probably carry on watching, out of spite, as, they did sack Stewart Lee for the sake of scripted comedy like this. But thanks for your comment and I hope you enjoy.

        p.s. I assume you’re not the Jazzy Jayne who used to work in Manchester!

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