A NEW film based on the life of William Shakespeare will film in Selby this month with roles still available as extras.

Selby Abbey will be closed to the public for two weeks as shooting starts on the new comedy Bill, from the cast of award-winning BBC show Horrible Histories.

Written by Laurence Rickard and Ben Willbond, cast members of the show, Bill tells the story of the Bard’s mysterious “lost years”, and is described as a Pythonesque comedy.

Laurence said the film will be “a tale of murderous kings” and “a plot to blow up Queen Elizabeth”, that explores how Shakespeare went from unknown lute player to famous playwright.

He said: “The joy of the lost years is we can tell a fun story without trampling on the facts.

“It gives us licence to take William Shakespeare on a truly ridiculous caper, yet end with him becoming the man the world knows.”

Selby Abbey will be closed to visitors until March 4 while filming takes place, with regular week-day services being relocated to the Hawden Institute and Sunday services taking place in the Quire.

The vicar of the Abbey, The Reverend Canon John Weetman, said he was delighted Selby had been chosen as a location and apologised for any inconvenience the temporary closure would cause to regular visitors and tourists.

Nick Gordon, of United Artistes, said hundreds of local extras were still required for walk-on parts for the film’s crowd scenes and urged anyone interested in experiencing life on a film set to get in touch.

Scenes from Bill, which is supported by the £15 million Yorkshire Content Fund set up by Screen Yorkshire to bring film-making projects to the region, are also being shot at York Minster, Skipton Castle, Bridlington and Darlington.

For more information about supporting roles in Bill email United Artistes at office@unitedartistes.co.uk