Bill

Film, Family and kids
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(1user review)
Bill

The 'Horrible Histories' gang are on top form with their kid-friendly William Shakespeare comedy

This intelligent family-friendly comedy imagines Shakespeare, The Early Years. Sacked from a failing lute band, Bill chooses a more ‘reliable’ career: the theatre. Leaving behind an exasperated Anne Hathaway, he heads for London. After befriending budding playwright Chris Marlowe, he becomes accidentally embroiled in a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I (played with comic relish by Helen McCrory). Damien Lewis (McCrory’s real-life husband) appears briefly, as noted seaman Sir Richard Hawkins, but ‘Bill’ revolves predominantly around a small ensemble playing multiple roles. All of them alumni of the BBC’s ‘Horrible Histories’ series, they deftly cruise through a script that revels in the mucky reality of Tudor London and fills any factual gaps with contemporary sketch-show humour. Mathew Baynton’s plucky Bill, Jim Howick’s grumpy Marlowe and Ben Willbond’s testosterone-fuelled Philip II of Spain are all up there with vintage ‘Blackadder’. Best of all, a seven-plus audience won’t need to know their David Starkey to relish Laurence Rickard’s ‘spymaster’ Walsingham disguised as a pie, or the ‘your mum…’ banter between Shakespeare and Marlowe. (Neither will you.) Laura Lee Davies

Posted:

Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Friday September 18 2015
Duration: 94 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Richard Bracewell
Screenwriter: Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond
Cast: Mathew Baynton
Simon Farnaby
Martha Howe-Douglas

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|1
1 person listening