Typically, year-end stories focus on a look back because absolutely nothing is going on over the holidays. This doesn’t seem to be so folajr our beloved Bard. Three comic spoofs are having a bit of fun with Shakespeare.
The first Shakespeare-related treat for 2015 is the new trailer for the U.K. film Bill starring English actor Matthew Baynton (Hulu series The Wrong Mans, British comedy series Yonderland, and member of the sketch comedy troupe Horrible Histories). This film fictitiously fills in the blanks of Shakespeare’s lost years (1585-1592) when the young lad leaves Stratford and moves to London.
“This period where no-one is entirely sure what Shakespeare did…gives you great license to play around,” says the film’s writer Laurence Rickard in the online publication Empire. “He’s done everything from contemporary dance to playing lute in a band. He’s never found his calling…”
Well, at least, until he becomes a playwright in London’s thriving theater scene. This Monty-Python-style comedy stars the BAFTA-winning cast of BBC’s Horrible Histories and revolves around murderous kings, spies, lost loves, and a plot to assassinate Queen Elizabeth.
Sadly, the film won’t premiere in the U.K. until March, but its hysterical trailer has just been released and can be seen at DigitalSpy.com. When is the premiere for the rest of the world? That date is still to be named.
Pulp Shakespeare, which had a successful five-month run in Los Angeles after becoming a hit at 2010’s Hollywood Fringe, is coming back to the stage thanks to Artform and Theatre Asylum. The script’s writers—Ben Tallen, Aaron Greer, Brian Watson-Jones—adapted Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction into Shakespearean English. The saucy comedy still revolves around two murderers and their boss’ hot wife, but guns are traded for daggers and cars for horses. Directing the play will be Ovation Award-winning director Amanda McRaven and reprising their roles are Aaron Lyons as Vincenzio de la Vega, Dan White as Julius Winfield and Christian Levatino as Butch “Butcher” Coolidge.
Shameless begging has never been so funny. Classical theater ensemble The Antaeus Company out of Los Angeles appeals for donations in a mock video declaring that to compete with the extreme popularity of dog and cat videos, which get millions of views on the internet (while Shakespeare theater companies have to beg for handouts), the troupe is opening its auditions for Henry IV to dogs and cats. This hysterical video can be seen on YouTube. The troupe has a history of funny videos. Last year, its naked troupe members appealed to patrons for money for costumes. It can be seen on YouTube, too.