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.

Enhanced by beautiful animation, this live action film has been carefully abridged and adapted for children and features narration by the award-winning actor Tom Hiddleston.

Directed by

Joe Talbot  (DTP)

The kids are doing Shakespeare for themselves: WillShake's Henry V

For Shakespeare Week, Thor actor Tom Hiddleston provides a voiceover for a young cast's short film of Henry V

By Jonathan McAloon
13 Mar 2015
The Telegraph

A new adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V starring primary school children will be screened in schools up and down the country as part of Shakespeare Week, which runs from March 16 to 22.

'WillShake's Henry V', a short film which features children from Northumberland, aims to be the first Shakespeare production told by children for children. By shortening the action to 15 minutes and simplifying the plot, Short Form Film Company, who have produced the film, hope to awaken a love of the Bard in a new generation. Thor star Tom Hiddleston has recorded a voiceover for it.

7,000 primary schools across the UK will be taking part in Shakespeare Week, a campaign organised by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in partnership with more than 100 arts and heritage venues, which aims to get children interacting with Shakespeare from an early age. Henry V is the first in a projected series of films developed by The Short Form Film Company aimed at a young audience.

Th producer Emily Blacksell says: “Our aim with WillShake is to present a ‘first taste’ of Shakespeare that preserves the brilliance of the original plays but that also captivates a modern, young audience using the highest possible film and animation production techniques. In the 600th anniversary year of the Battle of Agincourt, it seems particularly timely to revisit Henry V, in a way that reflects our digital age.”
Featuring famous speeches such as "Once more into the breach, dear friends", Henry V is a History Play much loved by an older audience. Filmed at the historic site Bamburgh Castle and jazzed up with animations, this new adaptaion aims to capture younger imaginations, too.