Horrible Histories Special: Sensational Shakespeare

A special episode of the historical sketch show. A look at the life and times of William Shakespeare, from his humble beginnings to his success.

April 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of the death of Britain's greatest playwright, William Shakespeare (or is it William Shagspeare or Willm Shakspere - even the great Bard himself didn't know!). In this episode, we look at the life and times of the playwright - from his largely unknown and humble beginnings in Stratford, through his times as a jobbing actor in London, to his success as the country's most respected and financially savvy writer.

Along the way we meet his gang of London friends, the playwrights, poets and brawlers Marlowe, Jonson and Spenser. The episode looks at Shakespeare's little-known financial prowess, his legacy and the lasting influence of his work - not bad for a plot-stealing pen for hire! We also explore the social history of Britain and the world, and how, if you wanted to avoid the plague, it was important to eat your none-a-day portion of fruit and veg. All this served up with a healthy dollop of poo and wee! 

Production Information

Broadcaster: CBBC

TX Date: April 2016

Format: 1 x 35

Also see: Horrible Histories, HH: Gory Games and Horrible Histories with Stephen Fry

Useful Links:

CBBC - Horrible Histories

Website: BBC iPlayer - Horrible Histories - Specials: 1. Sensational Shakespeare

Executive Producer(s):

Richard Bradley

Simon Welton


Rattus Rattus


Richard Atwill

Richard David-Caine

Jalaal Hartley

Jessica Ransom

Thom Tuck

Gemma Whelan