Horrible Histories team to make Shakespeare movie

The story of a hapless lute player and wannabe writer will be told in feature film Bill

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The stars of CBBC’s award-winning sketch show Horrible Histories are to make a comedy film about William Shakespeare.

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Featuring multiple roles for Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Jim Howick, Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, the film – entitled Bill – will tell the story of a lute player who leaves the family home to follow his dream of becoming a writer.

Bill has been commissioned by BBC Films and will shoot later this year, with Richard Bracewell (The Gigolos) directing a script written by cast members Rickard and Willbond.

“Bill is a comedy adventure for all the family,” Rickard and Willbond said. “We’re playing with history, just as Shakespeare did, for the entertainment of the audience. And we like to think he’d be OK with it. Apart from the bit where he’s dressed as a tomato.”

The movie will be “a tale of murderous kings, spies, lost loves, and a plot to blow up Queen Elizabeth”, according to BBC Films.

This is not the first project for the Horrible Histories team outside the show that made them famous. The same sextet will make their Sky1 debut next year with Yonderland, an eight-part comedy about a bored mum who accesses another dimension via a portal in her house.

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The fifth and final series of Horrible Histories airs on CBBC later this month. The team have tackled Shakespeare before…