TV Review: Will

I finally get round to watching all of Will, not a show that’ll be remembered I’m afraid

“I came to London to write”

I mildly enjoyed the first couple of episodes of Will (which I enjoyed in a hotel room in Vienna) but it has taken me a little time to get around to completing the first series. And tbh, I’m not entirely sure if it was worth the wait. There’s a great concept here, an anarchic reimagining of Shakespeare’s days as a young man in London but there’s not quite the fully-fledged story to sustain it.

There’s no denying the thrill of the punkish vibe to this version of Elizabethan England, and it’s a striking reminder that the sedateness of so much live theatre was not the norm. And the relationship that develops between Will and the theatre company that he inveigles his way into is fascinatingly drawn, even if the Shakespearean lines that drop into so much of the dialogue are perhaps overdone.

But there’s too much of a void at the show’s heart. The burgeoning romance between Will and Alice Burbage is tricky business, the presence of his wife and children isn’t denied but is increasingly pushed to the side. And the religious turmoil just doesn’t materialise into a storyline that gripped me, so it made getting through the series quite the trial in the end, despite a quality cast trying their best. 

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