Bill Shakespeare is a failing musician who decides to get a steadier job, as a playwright in London. Meanwhile King Philip II of Spain is looking for a way to infiltrate the country and assassinate Queen Elizabeth. When Bill’s latest play lands in the wrong hands, Philip sees this as his chance to strike.
First let me dispel any possible fears you might have that the Horrible Histories team would not be able to sustain the brilliance of the 30 minute episodes over a period of 90. They do just that. It is consistently funny throughout. I don’t think there was a period of over 1 minute ever between laughs. Yes it is mostly slapstick, but it’s clever slapstick. There is a real art to doing silly gags and this group have nailed it. Think of them as a Monthy Python for a slightly younger audience. While this isn’t the Holy Grail, a couple of the gags are on a similar level.
It’s also very historically literate, making little history jokes that most people (me included) would miss on first viewing. And a fair few times I simply missed the next joke because I was laughing too hard at the last one. But it isn’t just a laugh fest, Bill has points of genuine sadness and proper emotion but they are never too long-lived. Because the makers of this know exactly who they are making this film for, and do so perfectly.
It’s possibly the funniest film of the year, and I just want them to make more.