Friday, December 16, 2016


Bill. Dir. Richard Bracewell. Perf. Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, and Martha Howe-Douglas. 2015. DVD.

An alert reader alerted me to the existence of Bill.  And I'm extraordinary pleased to pass along the alert.

This odd, quirky, hilarious version of Shakespeare's lost years provides an imaginative account of how Shakespeare found the right career.

Let me offer you two sample scenes to convince you of its merits. In the first, Bill is summarily dismissed from his position of lead lute in a group called Mortal Coil.

I think the Back to the Future flavor of the scene is deliberate.

The next clip offers a musical take on many of Shakespeare's dramatic themes:

I'm sure that I've convinced you, but I could also mention the intrigue of Philip II of Spain attempting to infiltrate England, the tension of Anne Shakespeare's interaction with her husband, the mentorship Kit Marlowe provides the young Bill, and the musical thrill that is "Dueling Lutes." 

Give this version of the lost years a try—it will not disappoint.

Links: The Film at IMDB.

Click below to purchase the film from
(and to support Bardfilm as you do so).

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
All material original to this blog is copyrighted: Copyright 2008-2039 (and into perpetuity thereafter) by Keith Jones.

The very instant that I saw you did / My heart fly to your service; there resides, / To make me slave to it; and, for your sake, / Am I this patient [b]log-man.

—The Tempest