Exciting news! The BBC have launched their plans for the 2016 Shakespeare festival, marking 400 years since the great playwright, William Shakespeare, died. In revealing their plans they have also given away some more information about the first of three upcoming specials this year, titled: Sensational Shakespeare, starring Tom Stourton!
(Above, a picture of Tom Stourton in costume as William Shakespeare, Source 1)
“Horrible Histories is back on CBBC with a special episode delving in to the life and times of the world’s most famous writer. Tom Stourton stars as the Bard, as we find out about his humble beginnings, his glove-making father and his early life as an actor.” (Source 2)
We also know the episode will be based on his earlier life, mostly before he became famous:
“There are also new productions across television and radio, including a special Horrible Histories on Children’s BBC telling the story of Shakespeare’s early life.” (Source 3)
As Tom Stourton takes the main role as Shakepseare, it is assumed that the new HH cast will continue for all three specials. If so then it is likely that Simon Farnaby and Jim Howick will star just as they did in Series 6.
Tom Stourton was one of the main cast members of Series 6, playing throughout as one of the two HH Theatre actors, doing a great job.
Last year, after the Series finished we asked fans to vote for their favourite actor of Series 6. According to 34 votes from August 14th 2015 to the date this post was published, Stourton was the third best actor of the new cast, after Jalaal Hartley in 1st and Jessica Ransom in 2nd (Click here for more about the new cast).
SKETCHES AND SONGS:
We don’t know any sketches that are set to appear yet, but we guess that, just like in Series 6, there will be another ‘Chatty Death’ sketch where Death talks to Shakespeare. We do know that there are three catchy songs as Greg Jenner confirmed on Twitter last year. (More about that here, Source 4). As HH traditionally do 1 main song, we guess that the songs could either be a) split into three parts, b) be 3 short songs or c) two of the songs could be HH Theatre songs, just like in Series 6.
We don’t when it will be released, but the main day of the BBCs Shakespeare festival is on Saturday the 23rd of April, and CBBC will be joining in the celebrations in other shows.
Being only January, April is still quite far ahead, and so we’ll just have to wait until we get more news closer to the event. Feel free to share this, and stay tuned for more HH news about the three specials (we do not yet know if they are part of Series 6 or a new Series 7).
Source 1: The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/12113348/BBC-enlists-Benedict-Cumberbatch-Judi-Dench-and-emojis-to-show-Shakespeare-off-to-the-world.html
Source 2: BBC Media Centre: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/bbc-shakespeare-festival-2016
Source 3: Stratford-upon-Avon Herald: http://www.stratford-herald.com/46993-bbc-launches-star-studded-shakespeare-festival.html
Source 4: Horrible Histories TV: New HH 2016: 3 more Savage Specials! (more source links about the 3 songs in post)