Bill

Bill

Richard Bracewell (2014)

90min
PG Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The original members of TV's Horrible Histories make a promising feature debut with this ribald period romp. Set in the time of the "Terrible Tudors", the story follows the restless "Bill" Shakespeare (Mathew Baynton) as he leaves his family in Stratford to make his fortune penning plays in London. But this writing lark is harder than it seems, and our Bard-in-waiting somehow finds himself drawn into a plot by Philip II of Spain to kill Good Queen Bess. CBBC's Bafta-winning Horrible Histories show has entertained - and even educated - the nation's youth with its irreverent blend of gruesome truths and yucky facts. But shorn of its quick-fire sketch format, this film lacks that zinger-a-minute vitality and sorely misses the anachronistic songs that were such a highlight of the series. That said, the production works wonders with its modest budget, while the Pythonesque spirit of tomfoolery is hard to resist. Among the hard-working cast put to work in multiple roles, Simon Farnaby stands out as the foppish Earl of Croydon, while Helen McCrory cameos as a hilariously grotesque Elizabeth I.

Summary

William Shakespeare is determined to become a successful playwright after getting kicked out of a folk band, and heads to London to seek his fortune. He gets caught up in a plot by the king of Spain to blow up Elizabeth I. Historical comedy with the cast of Horrible Histories, starring Mathew Baynton and Helen McCrory.

Cast & Crew

William Shakespeare / Lord Burghley / English messenger / customs official Mathew Baynton
Earl of Croydon / Juan Domingo / sausage / Dimitri Alexandrovitch / fur seller Simon Farnaby
Anne Hathaway / Molly / Spanish courtier / body collector Martha Howe-Douglas
Christopher Marlowe / Gabriel Montoya / cynical jester / palace doorman / mysterious man / even grubbier thief / party planner Jim Howick
Sir Francis Walsingham / Lope Lopez / stand-up jester / chatty guard / slightly late courtier / Ian / hanging criminal / chicken drumstick Laurence Rickard
King Philip II of Spain / Earl of Southampton / grubby thief / Alexander Dimitrievitch / head of guards / Ben Willbond
Queen Elizabeth I Helen McCrory
Sir Richard Hawkins Damian Lewis
Director Richard Bracewell
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: VertigoGuidance: Some violence, brief swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 18 Sep 2015
Comedy Drama