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Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4 — release date, cast, plot and everything we know

Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4: Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) relaxes on a bench outside their office while Lu Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) leans on the backrest. To the right of the picture is a pile of books of collected works of Shakespeare, along with a lute and a tambourine
(Image credit: BBC)

The long-awaited Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4 is set to arrive on our screens very soon, as mismatched detectives Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) and Lu Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) take on nine brand-new cases in the picturesque surroundings of Stratford-upon-Avon.

The latest season sees the pair investigating a critical data leak at a local tech company, getting drawn into the world of competitive ballroom dancing, and even solving a mystery in a famous author's Gothic mansion in a Cluedo-inspired episode...

"We never know what's going to happen in each episode!" says Jo. "It's never dull for us — suddenly we're on a boat or a pedalo down the street, or we're on a yoga ball in an office, or we're at a model railway. It's really varied!"

Mark Benton and Jo Joyner in character as Frank Hathaway and Lu Shakespeare, standing in front of French windows, with Frank giving a quizzical aside glance

Bard to the bone: Frank Hathaway and Lu Shakespeare are back in business (Image credit: BBC)

Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4 release date in UK and US

Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators season 4 began in the UK on BBC1 on Monday February 14 at 2.15pm, and aired on weekday afternoons and is now available on BBCiPlayer. This fourth series can be watched in the US on streaming service BritBox from April 19 2022. 

Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4 cast

Of course stars Mark Benton and Jo Joyner are back as Frank and Lu for season 4, along with Patrick Walshe McBride as their theatrical assistant Sebastian Brudenell and Tomos Eames as DS Joseph Keeler. Fans will also be delighted to know that Darren Evans returns as their tech-expert pal Spider for the first episode of season 4.

The upcoming episodes also feature an impressive array of guest stars, including Death In Paradise's Danny John-Jules, West End leading lady Ruthie Henshall, Doctors' Leila Mimmack, Agatha Raisin's Jamie Glover, The Musketeers star Tamla Kari, comedian and impressionist Terry Mynott, former Corrie star Craig Gazey, Endeavour's Caroline O'Neill, I'd Do Anything winner Jodie Prenger, Code 404's Clive Russell, Emily Woof (Finding Alice), and Ridley Road's Tracy-Ann Oberman as Lu's sister Lia.

Lia (Tracy-Ann Oberman) stands up next to sister Lu (Jo Joyner) at a slimming club meeting, Lu is sitting next to her and pointing a finger at her as though in the middle of an argument

Weird sisters? Siblings Lia (Tracy-Ann Oberman) and Lu (Jo Joyner) are set to clash (Image credit: BBC)

"I've always been a fan of Tracy's work," Jo tells us. "Tracy was on our most-wanted list, a) because she's a brilliant actress, and b) selfishly, I also wanted to get to know her! I thought she would make such a good sister for Lu, and she did — she was great to play off and bicker with!"

Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4 episode guide

In episode 1, If It Be Man's Work, Frank and Lu are recruited by flash tech entrepreneur Bertie Tark (Jonno Davies) to identify the mole that's leaking classified secrets from his company Forosa days before they're due to launch a hot new app. 

In episode 2, If Music Be The Food Of Love, dance school owner Beattie Delamar (Ruthie Henshall) hires the pair to dispel a curse she believes is ruining her business, and episode 3, Too Much Water, sees Frank and Lu investigating the mysterious drowning of a former beauty queen.

Bertie Tark (Jonno Davies) stands in a walled garden, wearing a smart suit and an expensive looking watch, facing the camera with his hands clasped in front of him

Entrepreneur Bertie Tark (Jonno Davies) hires Frank and Lu to investigate a mole in the series opener (Image credit: BBC)

Episode 4, Most Wicked Speed, has Frank and Lu caught up in the world of fast cars as they try to clear the name of another PI who's been accused of murder. In episode 5, Hunger For Bread, Lu runs into her sister Lia (Tracy Ann Oberman) while she and Frank are spying on a local slimming club for rival owner Val Twigg (Jodie Prenger), and episode 6, Die We Must, involves a mystery in a Gothic mansion owned by celebrated sci-fi author Greg Alban (Clive Russell).

In episode 7, Some Cupid Kills, an actor friend of Sebastian's asks for help to investigate the death of her boyfriend, Dalton, who worked for a Shakespeare-for-hire agency. Episode 8, And Rarest Parts, sees Frank and Lu looking into suspected paranormal activity at the home of a lottery winner and model railway enthusiast, and in episode 9, Time Decays, Frank ends up on the wrong side of the law when a murder is committed during a Shakespeare walk — and he's the prime suspect.

Frank Hathaway (Mark Benton) and Lu Shakespeare (Jo Joyner) walk towards the camera with a boating lack in the background behind them. Lu is carrying a case file and a large reusable pink plastic bottle.

Mark was glad to be reunited with Jo after a short Covid-related separation (Image credit: BBC)

"Jo wasn't around for quite a lot of episode 9," says Mark. "She had to miss a full week of filming [after testing positive for Covid-19] so they rewrote this episode to be about me on a walk with these guys and someone gets murdered. It was great fun, but to be honest it's very odd doing the show without Jo! Obviously, she then came back, and when you watch it you probably won't even notice because she'll be in it as much as normal, but it was a very weird experience not being with Jo while doing Shakespeare & Hathaway. I felt quite lonely!"

Is there a trailer for Shakespeare & Hathaway season 4?

There's no sign of a trailer for season four just yet, but we'll update this article with the trailer as soon as one appears!

Steven Perkins
Steven Perkins

Steven Perkins is a Staff Writer for TV & Satellite Week, TV Times, What's On TV and whattowatch.com (opens in new tab), who has been writing about TV professionally since 2008. He was previously the TV Editor for Inside Soap before taking up his current role in 2020. He loves everything from gritty dramas to docusoaps about airports and thinks about the Eurovision Song Contest all year round.