Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators

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Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators
Series title on a nameplate on a wall
GenreComedy-drama, mystery
Created byPaul Matthew Thompson
Jude Tindall
Composer(s)Debbie Wiseman
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series2
No. of episodes20
Executive producer(s)Will Trotter
Producer(s)Ella Kelly
Running time44 minutes
Production company(s)BBC Studios
Original networkBBC One
Picture format2:1 1080p
Audio formatStereo
Original release26 February 2018 (2018-02-26) –
External links
BBC website

Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators is a British drama mystery television series set in Stratford-upon-Avon, produced by BBC Birmingham. A second series of 10 episodes was ordered, which began broadcasting on 25 February 2019.[1][2]


Ex-Detective Inspector Frank Hathaway, now a debt-laden private investigator, meets Luella Shakespeare when she employs him to investigate the fiancé she met online. Hathaway and his assistant Sebastian Brudenell discover that the fiancé is a con man. They report back to Luella, but she is reassured by her fiancé, and the wedding occurs.

When her new husband is killed at the reception, Luella is suspected of murder by local Detective Inspector Christina Marlowe, who had been Frank's junior. Luella is thrown together with Frank and Sebastian to crack the mystery of what has happened, and after her name is cleared, she uses her recovered savings to buy into Frank's business. Frank's only employee is Sebastian Brudenell, a young aspiring RADA-trained actor who uses his skills when undercover investigations are required. He lives above a theatre costumier run by Gloria Fonteyn.

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Jo Joyner as Luella Shakespeare
  • Mark Benton as Frank Hathaway
  • Patrick Walshe McBride as Sebastian Brudenell
  • Amber Aga as Detective Inspector Christina Marlowe
  • Tomos Eames as Detective Sergeant Keeler
  • Roberta Taylor as Gloria Fonteyn


The Telegraph finds it crass to use the last names of Shakespeare and his wife, Anne Hathaway, as the names of the detectives, and as the title of the series. In a review of the first programme, the show used all the cliches of a cosy detective show. About the show and the assistant, Sebastian Brudenell, "There was plenty to dislike about Shakespeare & Hathaway the programme, not least Hathaway’s secretary Sebastian (Patrick Walshe McBride), a bushy-tailed luvvie in a cravat." This airs as daytime television in the UK (evenings in the US on PBS), where the appetite "for complexity or grit" is low. The one up note is Jo Joyner as Luella Shakespeare, changing careers from hairdresser to detective: "Joyner had the harder task, in that Shakespeare’s path from hairdresser to sleuth by way of murdered fiancé lay somewhere on the risible side of plausible. She just about pulled it off".[3]


Series 1 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
11"O Brave New World"Piotr SzkopiakPaul Matthew Thompson and Jude Tindall26 February 2018 (2018-02-26)
Three days before her wedding, Luella Shakespeare hires private detective Frank Hathaway to investigate her fiancé, Clive Brenton, whom she believes is having an affair with his secretary, Janice Bardolph. She calls him off the case when she realises that she was mistaken. Frank had not found evidence of an affair, but found out that Clive is using different identities on dating websites. Frank interrupts the wedding, but Luella has the security guards send him away. Shortly after the wedding at a hotel, Clive is stabbed to death with Luella's hairdresser's scissors. Luella is arrested by the police, who release her soon after. She discovers that her savings have been stolen from her bank account. Hathaway and Shakespeare find out that Clive was a bigamist with an accomplice, Janice - who stole Luella's £250,000 that Luella had invested in Clive's company. Luella stops the accomplice from leaving with the money and retrieves it from her. Frank thinks that Janice is the killer, but the police tell her that Janice could not have killed Clive, although they arrest her for her involvement in Clive's bogus business. The investigation returns to the hotel and one of Clive's previous wives, Veronica Vinten - who admits that she killed Clive after finding out that he had faked his death and was marrying Luella. The police arrest Veronica. Frank is in debt, and reluctantly accepts Luella as his partner in his detective agency. Guest star: Nigel Whitmey (Nigel Whitney in credits).
22"The Chimes at Midnight"Ian BarberDavid Semple27 February 2018 (2018-02-27)
Frank and Luella are employed by Penelope Pincott to investigate sabotage at the business she and her husband Owain run, Shady Nooks care home. Sebastien goes undercover as a care assistant. During lunch, when all the staff and residents are in the dining room, Penelope falls to her death from the roof. Suspecting one of the staff or residents of the murder, Frank and Luella have to work out how it was done. Sebastian discovers that the saboteur is a resident, Johnny Falstaff. He does not like living there and was deliberately causing various problems in an attempt to have his son 'rescue' him from the home. Care worker Soozie is also a murder suspect when the investigation reveals that she is attracted to Owain. Frank works out how Penelope's (already dead) body crashed to the ground from the roof when all the home's residents and staff were present in the dining room. The death of a resident exactly a year ago provides a clue - the late resident's son Ian blames Penelope for her death. At the end it is revealed that he became the home's cook six months later and killed Penelope in revenge on the anniversary of his mother's death. Guest star: Timothy West
33"This Promised End"Carolina GiammettaLol Fletcher28 February 2018 (2018-02-28)
Frank and Luella are employed by funeral director, Peter Quintus, after he is visited by "Mr R" and "Mr G" who say that a criminal organisation has hired them to kill him in 24 hours time. He is told not to involve the police or there will be consequences for his family, and there are two attacks on his wife, Anne. After one of the attacks, Frank finds a photograph relating to an art college that Anne attends. Luella interviews the neighbourhood warden, Melvin Pipkin, who is fond of Anne, and who is later found dead following a hit and run. Sebastian interviews Peter's man-eating ex-wife who had been cheated out of money in her divorce settlement. It is discovered that Peter was violent towards both his wives and that Anne has persuaded two teachers at her college to pretend to be Mr R and Mr G in order to scare him. Melvin was killed by Peter and the police arrest him. Anne leaves with Mr R, with whom she is in a relationship.
44"This Rough Magic"Carolina GiammettaKit Lambert1 March 2018 (2018-03-01)
Frank and Luella are employed by magician, Lawrence Pross and his daughter Maggie after his iron maiden trick kills a woman, wealthy Jill Shiplake, on stage. The Pross' believe rival magician, Anton Dukes, is responsible. The victim was bickering with her husband that night and with the theatre usher. Frank realises the victim might not have been selected at random and suspects the husband Stefan. They find evidence of Stefan's guilt but then realised Stefan and his wife had swapped theatre seats.
55"Toil and Trouble"Piotr SzkopiakKit Lambert2 March 2018 (2018-03-02)
The mayor of Arden is found murdered, with a blunt object, after firing a shotgun and Detective Inspector Marlowe's prime suspect is burglar William 'Billy the Brick' Porters, a former informant of Frank's. Billy turns up at Frank who is indebted to him, and Luella's office begging them to prove his innocence. Their investigations leads to the press reporter who found the body, the deputy mayor, a property developer of ancient woods and protesters against the development. Sebastian discovers Billy has a blood stained T-shirt.
66"Exit, Pursued by a Bear"Ian BarberJeff Povey5 March 2018 (2018-03-05)
Frank and Luella are employed by narcissistic former hospital soap star Sally Balthasar after she receives a death threat after planning her comeback by rewriting Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet and playing the female lead. She calls her version Juliet and Romeo, and her character does not die. Her changes to a classic play offend cast members, the director, the backstage crew, and Shakespeare fans. Things come to a head when Sally is poisoned and unable to continue. The director then reverts to Shakespeare's original play. Frank and Luella watch back episodes of Sally's soap opera and find a link between past and present.
77"The Fairest Show Means Most Deceit"Piotr SzkopiakDan Muirden6 March 2018 (2018-03-06)
Frank and Luella are employed by a gift shop owners, Diana and Leon, to investigate an ex-employee, Lola, who is claiming compensation for a workplace injury. The investigation is hampered by Martin Mariner claiming to be Frank's uncle. Frank finds Diana dead in the gift shop, victim of a robbery. Suspicion falls on Leon and then on Mariner who had money covered in Diana's blood and he incriminates Lola's boyfriend Phil, a name linked to Diana's phone. Sebastian goes undercover as a transvestite at a bar and as a gas man at Lola's house.
88"The Chameleon's Dish"Richard SignyNicola Wilson7 March 2018 (2018-03-07)
Frank and Luella are employed by troubled 18-year-old Hamish after he has premonitions of murder. They join him at a spiritual retreat run by his mother and stepfather. Staying at the retreat are his ex-girlfriend Lily, his best friend Uzoma and others. Lily's psychoanalyst mother, Polly, had been counselling Hamish and Uzoma at their sixth-form college until she was sacked. She tries to remove her daughter but she refuses to leave. The next day Polly, whose relationship with Uzoma was posted on social media by him, is found dead with Hamish. He remembers nothing, and is arrested by Marlowe. Sebastian goes undercover at the teenagers' college. It is discovered that Hamish was adopted after his mother was murdered by his father when he was four, and Hamish found her dead. The 'premonitions' were his vague memory. His father was using a false identity and married Hamish's mother. He also murdered Polly, to prevent his real identity being discovered; he is arrested by the police.
99"The Rascal Cook"Richard SignyKit Lambert8 March 2018 (2018-03-08)
Frank and Luella are employed by owner/chef, Len Tekler, of top restaurant Hivena after sabotage in the kitchen. Frank suspects an inside job but Tekler suspects food critic Paulina Stainton. Sebastian goes undercover in the kitchen. The restaurant is closed when customers suffer a food poisoning incident. Tekler is murdered by poisoning and Frank and Luella investigate the relationships of Paula Stainton, Tekler's wife Cecillia, his son Milo, waitress Dita Pardy, and ex restaurant partner Trevor Cordiss, and the death of Tekler's brother, Michael who hanged himself 20 years earlier all seemingly connected.
1010"Ill Met by Moonlight"Piotr SzkopiakKit Lambert9 March 2018 (2018-03-09)
Frank and Luella are employed by Lady Tania Bede when a valuable necklace and her 18-year-old daughter, Mia, go missing. She offers them £10,000 to recover the necklace by that evening. A ransom demand of £50,000 for Mia is made. The investigation reveals Mia's relationship with a man other than her boyfriend, whom she met in the gardens of her home. They find evidence of garden labourer, Lee Sandridge, selling the necklace to a fence that turns out to be a fake. Head gardener Ron Greenvale, having already tendered his resignation, denies he is having an affair with Mia who is less than half his age. A payment of £200 which Mia made to a local private hospital adds to the mystery. Frank and Luella attend Lady Bede's ball that evening with Sebastian undercover to solve the mystery.

Series 2 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air date
111"Outrageous Fortune"Ian BarberJude Tindall25 February 2019 (2019-02-25)
Frank and Luella are employed to find a valuable mongrel dog that has gone missing. The dog, heir to a £320 million fortune since his owner died, lives a pampered lifestyle with numerous staff; staff dependent on the dog because on it's death the estate goes to charity. A £200,000 ransom is demanded and Frank and Luella suspect an inside job. The ransom drop goes wrong and the dog, identified by the dog's vet who had despaired at the dog's pampered lifestyle, is found dead.
122"The Play's the Thing"Matt CarterDan Muirden26 February 2019 (2019-02-26)
Frank and Luella are employed by Adrian Messenger the writer/manager of a fantasy re-enactment group to follow his wife he suspects is having an affair with another member, Major Tony Suffolk. Posing as members of the group they are present when two members are hit by crossbow bolts, Suffolk and another. Messenger's wife is arrested and Frank and Luella are asked by her husband to prove her innocence. They uncover that Suffolk had broken off the affair with Messenger's wife and his army record is not what it seems.
133"This Cursed Hand"Paul GibsonDavid Semple27 February 2019 (2019-02-27)
Frank and Luella are employed by Anastasia Kusk to find her husband, Pavel. Tracing him to a hotel Sebastian finds him dead minus his right hand. Anastasia asks Frank and Luella to continue on the case as her husband had a valuable art collection but all is not who they are and two criminals are also after the hand that has come into the possession of an out of work actor that Sebastian has met to his cost. Events take an odder course when the left hand is cut from the corpse in the Mortuary.
144"Beware the Ides of March"Gill WilkinsonRachel Smith28 February 2019 (2019-02-28)
Frank and Luella are employed by Julienne Fortby after she is injured during her TV show, a psychic show she co-hosts with her sister Marcia. She believes her sister involved until she is also injured. Frank believes it is all fake but Sebastian falls under Marcia spell while Frank and Luella investigate a hostile audience member whose husband had died from a stroke and whose son works on the show.
155"No More Cakes and Ale"Gill WilkinsonPaul Matthew Thompson1 March 2019 (2019-03-01)
Frank and Luella are employed by Portia Montgomery, a solicitor, to find evidence that her client is innocent of a violent assault during a quad bike theft, at a poultry farm, that he was part of. Frank and Luella search for a potential witness, a homeless woman sleeping rough at the farm at the time of the theft. The witness turns out to be Portia's estranged mother and her client's girlfriend turns against him and a poultry distributor begins making threats.
166"The Offered Fallacy"Ian BarberKit Lambert4 March 2019 (2019-03-04)
Frank and Luella find themselves victims of lookalike imposters and are arrested by Marlowe and Keeler after £30,000 is stolen from an elderly lady. Out on bail they discover the imposters are out of work actors employed by someone who has hacked their computers. Using Sebastien's acting skills and computer nerd Spider they lay a trap that backfires leaving Frank to look for someone looking for revenge.
177"Nothing Will Come of Nothing"Matt CarterLol Fletcher5 March 2019 (2019-03-05)
Frank and Luella are employed by Ava Foyle to find her missing husband, Lorenzo, who has many debts especially to the casino where Ava works owned by two sisters, Rose and Queenie. Frank and Luella investigate the casino and discover Lorenzo had affairs with one sister, Queenie, and a casino player, Lady Chaucer. Luella finds she has a talent for Poker and wins a memory stick from a thief. Frank finds himself in a deadly game of roulette, with Rose, that will cost him his life if he lose the spin of the wheel.
188"In My Memory Lock'd"Darcia MartinDominique Moloney6 March 2019 (2019-03-06)
Frank and Luella are on surveillance when a man suffering from amnesia stumbles across their car. The man has no identification; only an expensive watch and a locker key. With Gloria's help they get a clue that takes them to the Duke Vincent hotel where they discover evidence that he stayed there as a guest and worked as the hotel gardener but the staff deny all knowledge of him. As more of the man's memory returns it is apparent that he had propositioned the young receptionist who's mother is the manager of the hotel.
199"The Envious Court"Paul GibsonKit Lambert7 March 2019 (2019-03-07)
Frank and Luella are employed by the owner, Frederick Greenwood, of exclusive tennis club Runningbrook who has received a death threat. Luella's mother, Genevieve, is the club's social secretary and romantically linked with Greenwood. The death threat turns to a blackmail demand after the head tennis player, romantically linked with Greenwood's daughter. is poisoned with Aconite. Greenwood has to borrow the blackmail demand from Luella's mother arousing Luella's suspicions that the poisoning and blackmail are linked.
2010"Too Cold For Hell"Darcia MartinJude Tindall8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Frank and Luella are employed by Bianca and Anthony Percy; a young couple who had their furniture stolen by a bogus removal company. Tracking down the conmen to their lock-up they discover one of them shot dead and the other Billy Porter in their office. All the furniture is recovered except for a statue of an angel containing the ashes of Bianca's grandmother; mother of underworld crime boss Claude Mortimer. Mortimer captures Frank, Porter, and sergeant Keeler and puts them in a container destined to be lost at sea. Together Luella and Inspector Marlowe search for their respective partners and past secrets are revealed.

International broadcast[edit]

The first series began airing on PBS in the US on January 12, 2019.[4]

DVD releases[edit]

Series UK release date Notes
Series 1 23 April 2018 Disc One:
Episode 1 - O Brave New World
Episode 2 - The Chimes at Midnight
Episode 3 - This Promised End
Episode 4 - This Rough Magic
Disc Two:
Episode 5 - Toil and Trouble
Episode 6 - Exit, Pursued by a Bear
Episode 7 - The Fairest Show Means Most Deceit
Disc Three:
Episode 8 - The Chameleon's Dish
Episode 9 - The Rascal Cook
Episode 10 - Ill Met by Moonlight

A Region B-locked Blu-ray of Series 1 is scheduled for release on 4 March 2019. Series 2 is scheduled for simultaneous DVD/Blu-ray release in the UK on 22 April 2019.[5]


  1. ^ "Shakespeare and Hathaway is a 'gentler' form of crime drama". Stuff. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  2. ^ "Meet the cast of Shakespeare and Hathaway series two". Radio Times. Retrieved 2019-03-28.
  3. ^ Wilson, Benji (26 February 2018). "Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators is a nice, cosy drama full of cliches: episode one review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ Young, Bill (24 October 2018). "'Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators' heads to public television in 2019". KERA Tellyspotting. Retrieved 12 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators - Series 2 [BBC] on DVD". Amazon. Retrieved 17 April 2019.

External links[edit]