Meet WillShake: the boy with a trunk of theatrical tricks who likes to tell stories. Join him as he embarks on his first journey to share with us the tale of Henry V. A play about growing up, becoming a man, becoming a King. Shakespeare’s original play is brought vividly to life in a carefully abridged and adapted version for children of six and up. Part-narrated by young WillShake, this live action film is enhanced by beautiful animation, breathing new life into this engaging story about leadership and power. Acted by children, and created by grown-ups who don’t ever want to grow up, this first foray into Will’s world should make you want to see more!
The Willshake creative team, many of whom have young children, share a common passion for drama, active learning and the early introduction of Shakespeare’s plays to a young audience. We would like our audience to operate not as passive viewers but active participants and co-creators of the drama. Our approach to the entire series therefore remains twofold: both to create engaging, taut and exciting renditions of Shakespeare’s plays on screen and think about related learning opportunities and teaching stimuli to allow children to practically engage with his narrative drama - the themes, characters and central motifs.
We have a wealth of experience in professional theatre, film and television and believe in offering children content of the highest possible quality allied with production values that reflect this. Willshake aims to bring a film aesthetic to the small screen, and drawing upon the huge technical advances now available to us in both the production and post-production phases, we are able to deliver 15 minute, bite-size ‘cinematic’ episodes for television that mix live action and bespoke animation, all delivered in a way that continually foregrounds their original form – that of live dramatic art. In this way, Willshake introduces our young audience not only to Shakespeare’s great works but, equally importantly, to the lifelong pleasure of play and playmaking.