What really happened during Shakespeare's 'Lost Years'? Hopeless lute player Bill Shakespeare leaves his home to follow his dream.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
William 'Bill' Shakespeare / Lord Burghley / English Messenger / Customs Official
Earl of Croydon / Juan Domingo / Sausage / Dmitri Alexandrovitch / Fur Seller
Anne Hathaway / Molly / Spanish Courtier / Body Collector
Christopher Marlowe / Gabriel Montoya / Cynical Jester / Palace Doorman / Mysterious Man / Even Grubbier Thief / Party Planner
Sir Francis Walsingham / Lope Lopez / Stand-Up Jester / Chatty Guard / Slightly Late Courtier / Ian / Hanging Criminal / Chicken Drumstick
King Phillip II of Spain / Earl of Southampton / Grubby Thief / Alexander Dimitrievitch / Head of Guards
Sir Richard Hawkins
David Crow ...
Sir Walter Raleigh
Sir Francis Drake
John Henry Falle ...
Jamie Demetriou ...
Richard Atwill ...
George Hewer ...
Spanish Servant #1

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A down on his luck William "Bill" Shakespeare decides to pursue his latest dream: to be an aspiring writer. His adventure soon becomes dangerous when he is caught between a act of murder.

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Comedy | Family | History


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Release Date:

18 September 2015 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Билл  »

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Did You Know?


The ghost sequence was not achieved using digital or optical effects. It was captured 'in camera', using a Victorian stage technique called 'Pepper's Ghost': Jim Howick's performance was reflected onto a sheet of angled glass, positioned in front of the camera, while Mat Baynton performed behind the glass. See more »


Christopher Marlowe: What are you doing in a pie?
Sir Francis Walsingham: It's a disguise. Or one might say a 'despise'. Now that works in three ways; One, it's a disguise. Two, the disguise is pie and, three, it's got the word 'spies' in it. So...
Christopher Marlowe: It's very clever
See more »


Featured in Projector: Miss You Already/Bill (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

A slight disappointment but might please the kids
20 September 2015 | by (UK) – See all my reviews

The Horrible histories series is not only very educational but also good fun. However what works in a half hour TV show is a huge struggle to work in a feature film. Whilst there are some good gags in the script, a lot of them fall very flat too and in this respect I couldn't help but compare it being like a PG rated the 'League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse' from about a decade ago. The cast try hard but apart from Damian Lewis (who seems very comfortable in a classic Errol Flynn type role) the rest of the cast do sometimes overact, mugging at the camera slightly too much for my liking. It's a shame but not a surprise because the film cannot seem to decide if it is an extended episode or going for a Blackadder style take on history and the script reflects this, as it is neither one nor the other.

Like I said, there are a few good laughs for kids and adults alike but it could have done with a few more as well. The idea of the story, of Shakespeare's pre-fame career, is a novel one and could have been a Monty Python style film for kids but somehow this effort feels a bit flat despite the best efforts of the cast. In this respect some of the blame must go on the script which sometimes lacks in places. Maybe youngsters will like it, fart gags and all, and it does make good use of its locations and period detail but it was not memorable which is a shame. However I hope the Horrible Histories team do get the chance to make another better film as this is isn't a disaster, more of a near miss.

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