19 user 16 critic

Bill (2015)

2:23 | Trailer
What really happened during Shakespeare's 'Lost Years'? Hopeless lute player Bill Shakespeare leaves his home to follow his dream.


Richard Bracewell





Cast overview, first billed only:
Mathew Baynton ... William 'Bill' Shakespeare / Lord Burghley / English Messenger / Customs Official
Simon Farnaby ... Earl of Croydon / Juan Domingo / Sausage / Dmitri Alexandrovitch / Fur Seller
Martha Howe-Douglas ... Anne Hathaway / Molly / Spanish Courtier / Body Collector
Jim Howick ... Christopher Marlowe / Gabriel Montoya / Cynical Jester / Palace Doorman / Mysterious Man / Even Grubbier Thief / Party Planner
Laurence Rickard ... Sir Francis Walsingham / Lope Lopez / Stand-Up Jester / Chatty Guard / Slightly Late Courtier / Ian / Hanging Criminal / Chicken Drumstick
Ben Willbond ... King Phillip II of Spain / Earl of Southampton / Grubby Thief / Alexander Dimitrievitch / Head of Guards
Helen McCrory ... Queen Elizabeth I
Damian Lewis ... Sir Richard Hawkins
David Crow David Crow ... Ramon
Rufus Jones ... Sir Walter Raleigh
Justin Edwards ... Sir Francis Drake
John Henry Falle John Henry Falle ... Miguel
Jamie Demetriou ... Sergio
Richard Atwill Richard Atwill ... Sevi
George Hewer George Hewer ... Spanish Servant #1


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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Family | History


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

BBC Films [UK]





Release Date:

18 September 2015 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Билл See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



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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 »


When Bill and Christopher Marlowe are advertising vegetables, Bill is dressed as a tomato, which is a fruit. 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 »


References Deliverance (1972) See more »


Mortal Coil/Court Scene
Written by Bernard Hughes
Lute by Chorodophony
Percussion by Robert Millet
Recorder, Rauschpfeife & Natural Trumpet by Adrian Woodward
Double Bass by Lucy Shaw
See more »

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User Reviews

for children
7 April 2017 | by KirpianuscusSee all my reviews

a film who could be interesting only for the efforts of actors. a simple parody, not high ambitions, alternative history in style of Monty Python. and, at the first sigh, this is all. good opportunity for remember the different actresses in the role of Elisabeth I, the meritorious job of Matthew Baynton as decent Shakespeare , the references to plays and Spain - England conflict, a film for looking, again and again, scene by scene, its purpose and good kick for young readers to discover the universe of the great Will. and this is, maybe, the most important virtue of film.

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