Feb 11

Shorty Campaign 2015

Short Hiddles


Become a part of changing the face of pop culture!

Every campaign has its keynote speech and as we take The Shorty Awards very seriously, we want to publish why we want your vote, why we need your vote, and why we deserve your vote.

The reason we want your vote first and foremost is to unequivocally demonstrate that Hollow Crown Fans is not just a machine that generates un-curated content that simply matches key words. It’s a social media network hand-run by two women that attempt to create a community, develop interaction, and to live by example that Shakespeare is for everyone. Most of us are taught some Shakespeare in school and many can find it a dry, boring, and tedious experience that belongs only to academia or those with a considerably advanced education. We choose to reject that notion. We believe Shakespeare is as relevant and vibrant today as he ever was, and attentive to the modern human condition. We also want your vote because the Shorty’s are judged by key players in the world of media and advertising. We have an opportunity – together – to show that industry that Shakespeare IS relevant today, that there IS an audience hungry for more television and film adaptations of his work, and that the Bard deserves a place at the head of the table with other pop culture icons we’re competing with. We want them to be blown away that the most active fansite community in social media right now has been founded on the shoulders of Shakespeare. That’s why we want your vote.

Why we need your vote? The only way to show the Shorty judges that this is indeed a community and not just a PR machine, we need your voices. The judges will not see the 1000 tweets on Sunday that demonstrate how alive Shakespeare is to all of us. But they will see your votes, your voices, your declaration that Shakespeare is a part of your life and what we do at Hollow Crown Fans helps facilitate that. We need to show the judges that Shakespeare is not the property of academia. He belongs to you, to all of us, together. Without you taking individual action to click the link or make the tweet to vote, we stay silent and no one hears us. We must have your voices to succeed. We’re over 100 votes out of 1st place, which may not seem like a lot but it’s a gap that is terribly hard to close. We can’t do it alone.

Why we deserve your vote is trickier to put into words. We hope we are worthy of your voices and your vote, that we are providing you a place of value. The Hollow Crown gave ourselves and audiences a refreshed take on Shakespeare’s history plays and it inspired us to create Hollow Crown Fans. And creating this community has been a work of love – we are not paid or compensated in any way for our work – work that requires incredible effort and commitment. We’ve only missed four #ShakespeareSundays in the last 2 1/2 years! Our Sundays last approximately 18 hours of reading every single one of your tweets, retweeting most of them. Those hours don’t include the behind the scenes work to make the graphics, to set our own content to share that day, or the work and, frankly, balls it takes to ask pillars of the Shakespeare community such as Sir Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel West, Norman Bowman, Christine Boylan, and Matt Ryan to brainstorm a theme to share with all of you. We also work with integrity. We know other fansites will give you paparazzi photos and rumours. But we’ve stuck to our principles to only promote what has been legitimately released by the production company or its actors, rather than sharing spoilers and diminishing the hard work of the cast and crew of The Hollow Crown.

To that end, we at Hollow Crown Fans are competing in The Shorty Award’s Fansite category against accounts that are 5-10 times our size (that’s no exaggeration!). Those fansites represent One Direction, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Paramore – big cultural icons. But we are are struggling to hang onto third place in this year’s Shorty Awards which is the minimum to be considered a finalist.  So we have a hard road ahead but we believe we are a passionate group of fans and have the power in our small but fierce numbers to make it happen!

So please, if you have an active Twitter account, visit our Shorty webpage to cast your vote:


or  if you prefer to not use their form, you can vote by simply tweeting:

I nominate @HollowCrownFans for a Shorty Award in #fansite because [insert reason here]

If you’re reading this, your vote is vital to our success! We want to surprise the hell ouf of The Shorty Awards jury that some Shakespeare account turned up as a finalist! #ForTheLoveOfShakespeare

Nominate Hollow Crown Fans for a social media award in the Shorty Awards! Nominate Hollow Crown Fans for a social media award in the Shorty Awards

Jan 23

The Hollow Crown…in Lego!

THC lego 3 kings B


Every Sunday since October 2012 on @HollowCrownFans we run the tag #ShakespeareSunday (you can read more about this tag HERE), and one of the growing highlights for us and our followers have been the quotes matched with scenes in LEGO from tweeter @H_ShahSafavi. These even include fantastic replica scenes in LEGO from The Hollow Crown, with LEGO Ben Whishaw, Jeremy Irons and Tom Hiddleston!

These fantastic tweets are the work of Helen Shahzadeh-Safavi and her son Rafael, who has just turned six! They are based in Port Pirie, South Australia.


- How did this come about?

It was Raf’s idea. I had logged on to one #ShakespeareSunday to tweet my quote when Raf looked over my shoulder to see a quote retweeted from Lego Loki/ @Loki_Lego. Well, he loves both The Avengers and LEGO so I was forced to divert and show him Lego Loki. I then explained the Tom Hiddleston link to The Hollow Crown, then explained the Shakespeare plays.

“So mum, the man who is Loki plays a king with knights and castles and swords and battles?”


“Oh wow! Mum, we can use my knights to make Lego Shakespeare!”

And so it began! I thought, ‘Yes! Nab him while he interested! What a great way to introduce him to Shakespeare’. I wouldn’t have thought of it myself!


- How do you decide what to photograph?

Primarily, it has to be a child friendly, (needless to say I’ve only let him watch certain parts of The Hollow Crown).

Secondly, I try to use famous quotes that are in common use to boost his general knowledge.

Thirdly, depends how much time we have!


- What has been your favourite photo to do?

Myself, it was the ‘Fathers’ them with Falstaff impersonating Henry IV in the Boars Head Tavern, such a great scene.

Raf, the recent ‘Winter’ theme because he got to use his new Arctic LEGO.


Lego Shakespeare Falstaff

Lego Shakespeare Artic


- How did you discover The Hollow Crown?

By happy accident! Sadly, the series hasn’t aired here in Australia! I had only signed up to Twitter purely to learn how it works as my hubby has a café and we were told businesses should use it. I searched a few things that fancied me, including ‘Shakespeare’ and up popped #ShakespeareSunday.

I watched a few clips on YouTube and bought the series from overseas.


- Do you have favourite characters/ scenes?

Oh there’s too many, so hard to choose between them but Ben Wishaw’s Richard II, Jeremy Irons’ Henry IV, Tom Hiddleston’s transferal from Hal to Henry V and Simon Russell Beale’s Falstaff are up there.

As for scenes, I like those with Henry V and Montjoy and I have a particular fondness for the banter between Falstaff & Hal, especially the pub scenes – is that because I’m Australian? Oh and ‘THE SLAP’ of course ;-)

As for Raf, I don’t know if I should be concerned but he loves Falstaff, “Because he’s a cheeky ratbag.” His favourite scenes would have to be the battle scenes, although “Francis”, “Anon, anon” appealed as I have a brother called Francis.


- Favourite Hollow Crown Lego tweets:

THC Lego 1 I like this one as Raf built this entirely on his own. I’m keen to know how the knights will eat through their helmets ;-) He just loved the idea of blokes camping & boasting about their armour!

THC lego 2
TENNIS BALLS – Raf couldn’t get over the “cheeky” Dauphin, “That’s funny”!!


- What are you most looking forward to in series 2?

Well for Raf, it’s the Battle of Boswoth, (he’s all for action) and the knights in armour.

Me, just how villainous and deformed will Benedict Cumberbatch actually portray Richard III. I personally don’t go for some performances of the past that border on the comical. I get the impression from the photos out there that he may be quite ‘normal’.

Also keen to see how they present the lines. ‘Now is the winter of our discontent’ and ‘A horse, a horse’.

Oh, and the costumes!


Even a couple of the cast from The Hollow Crown have been entertained by Helen and Rafael’s work:

John Heffernan – Francis, Henry IV

Lego Shakespeare Francis

Edward Akrout – The Dauphin, Henry V

Lego Shakespeare Dauphin


Two of our favourite picks come from Richard II:

S.Sunday WaterA classic moment in the play and Lego Ben Whishaw really does steal the scene here! We love how Helen and Raf have really captured the costumes and setting from The Hollow Crown.

THC lego 7

That beautiful gold armour captured in Lego, and we love the effort to replicate the setting from the show!


With many more #ShakespeareSunday weekends on the horizon we cannot wait to see what Helen and Raf come up with next! A big thank you to them for taking so much time and sharing the fun.


Jan 22

#ShakespeareSunday ~ Star Picks!

#ShakespeareSunday was founded in October 2012, you can discover more about our weekly Twitter fun and how to join in HERE. Themes are not only picked by ourselves, the Hollow Crown Fans admins, but a number of our followers over the years have also chosen topics for us. We’ve been very lucky to have a few star guests pick #ShakespeareSunday themes:


Tom Hiddleston (The Hollow Crown’s Prince Hal/ Henry V) has tweeted with us on Sunday in the past and in January 2014, during his run at Donmar’s Coriolanus, we had the chance to ask Tom to pick a theme. He gave an inspired pick: TIME ss_Time2B Kenneth Branagh & Norman Bowman (MIF 2013: Macbeth & Ross) – honoured with having these two fantastic thespians give us a fantastic theme, and even a photo of Norman especially for the occasion! Their pick: TRAVEL & FAR OFF PLACES! ss_branagh   Samuel West – a great thespian and soon appearing as the Bishop of Winchester in The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses -  is a keen bird-watcher and picked: BIRDS & BEASTS! ss_birds   Matt Ryan (Fluellen in Michael Grandage’s Henry V, 2014 & the lead in Constantine) and Christine Boylan (television writer and producer, shows inc. Constantine, Castle & Once Upon A Time): DEMONS & DARKNESS / SPIRITS & MAGIC ss_mattryan_lulass_spiritsandmagic2

Jan 17

Luke Treadaway Interview: ‘Fortitude,’ ‘Unbroken,’ and ‘The Hollow Crown’

Luke Treadaway as scientist Vincent Rattray in Fortitude.

Luke Treadaway as scientist Vincent Rattray in Fortitude.

Luke Treadaway stars alongside Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Richard Dormer, Christopher Eccleston, and Sienna Guillory in the dramatic series Fortitude.  In addition to participating in a press conference to promote the show (2015 TCA winter press event, L.A.) Luke sat down for a one-on-one with Fred Topel.


Have you shot any other films before since Fortitude that are still to come out?


Luke Treadaway: “Since Fortitude? Wait, hang on, let me get my dates in order. Unbroken has just come out, that’s still on, that’s around, that’s out. Since Fortitude, I’ve shot of The Hollow Crown which is I think two of them, then we shot with Tom Hiddleston where they did Henry IV, I think. And I’ve just done Richard III playing the Earl of Richmond opposite Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III. We shot that a couple of months ago, I think. So, that was great. I had to learn to ride a horse and then learn to ride a horse in medieval armor with a sword and to charge into the Battle of Bosworth and fight with Benedict – so it’s very fun, yeah.”


As an actor, do you have a passion for Shakespeare?


Luke Treadaway: “When I see it, I sometimes feel passionate about it in a positive way. Sometimes I feel like it’s a really hard to tell plays that everyone has seen before a million times or knows, often knows, and to tell it in an exciting, original way and to give people the experience that they have when they’re watching a new play. I think it’s a real challenge as actors, as directors, in every part of the puzzle. When it’s done well, it can be beautiful and he is obviously, I don’t need to say this, it’s an amazing series and come out as really special. I think the Richard III that we filmed I think will be really wonderful with Benedict at the heart of it. I look forward to seeing it.”


Did Mr Treadaway just let a massive cat out the bag? We’re not sure…

“I’ve shot of The Hollow Crown which is I think two of them, then we shot with Tom Hiddleston where they did Henry IV, I think.”


For FULL interview click the following link:

Source: http://www.showbizjunkies.com/tv/luke-treadaway-fortitude-interview/




Jan 16

Last day of filming for second series of The Hollow Crown!

THC Alnwick Castle  Jan 2015 Mail Online 6

Today marks not only the last day of filming at Alnwick Castle but the last of the second series of The Hollow Crown. Via The Mail Online have been able to confirm that in addition to Laura Frances-Morgan (Joan of Arc), Anton Lesser (Exeter) and Adrian Dunbar (Plantagenet) also in Alnwick filming.


THC last day of filming tweet 16th Jan 2015

Filming may finish today but we journey on ~  looking forward to interviews, official photos and an eventual release date!

“How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,

Within whose circuit is Elysium,

And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.”

- Henry VI Part 3 (Act 1, Scene 2)

The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses



Jan 15

Chronicle Live: Medieval battle at Alnwick Castle

Had some great photographs crop up online showing battle scenes being filmed around Alnwick Castle with armour-clad Joan of Arc fighting the English.

THC Alnwick Castle 15th Jan 2015 Owen Humphreys


Medieval-style tents were erected in the Pastures and crews could be seen filming scenes of Medieval soldiers on horseback.

Fighting between armed soldiers were and ‘bodies’ lying on the ground could also be seen by passers-by.

Part of the town’s Greenwell Lane car park, behind the castle, has also been reserved until Saturday.

It is thought that around 200 extras will be used in the filming throughout the week.

Photo by Owen Humphreys

Photo by Owen Humphreys

Source: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/film-news/scenes-medieval-battle-major-tv-8455372

Jan 14

The Hollow Crown filming at Alnwick Castle

A beautiful location for series 2 filming of The Hollow Crown to end on (as far we know!). Alnwick castle has been used before in various films and tv series including Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. Studying photographs from the set looks like Alnwick might be used in French scenes. A reporter from The Northumberland Gazette confirmed to us that Joan of Arc (played by Laura Frances-Morgan) was involved.

Alnwick Castle & a French Army - Photo by Michael Pearson/ @MPJourno

Alnwick Castle and a French Army – Photo by Michael Pearson/ @MPJourno


Alnwick Castle 12th Jan - photo by The Northumberland Gazette

Alnwick Castle 12th Jan – photo by The Northumberland Gazette


For more info click here: http://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/local-news/watch-soldiers-do-battle-in-alnwick-pastures-1-7048664




Jan 07

EXCLUSIVE to Hollow Crown Fans: The Hollow Crown ~ Succession

Feeling bogged down by following all the comings and goings of the English monarchy during The Hollow Crown? Trying to keep track of which King Henry and Richard is where and when? Struggle no more!

@Shakespeare_300 have created a special edition of our simplified version of the family tree, covering series 1 and 2 of The Hollow Crown. From Richard II to Henry VII this clear diagram shows you the actors and line of succession. A big thank you from Hollow Crown Fans for this!

THC hollowcrownfans family tree


For more on Shakespeare300:


All you need to know before the curtain goes up or the test goes down. Available now for iOS and Android.

Website: http://www.shakespeare300.com/

Jan 05

Wall Street Journal: Benedict Cumberbatch Interview

Benedict Cumberbatch on the Beauty of Alan Turing, the Bile of Richard III and the Spirituality of Doctor Strange

By Barbara Chai


“I’ve just had a first coffee since my holiday,” he told Speakeasy by phone during the drive from L.A. “I don’t know if you ever decaffed for awhile, because when you have it again, it’s pretty strong. It’s a very, very strong drug we drink in the morning.”

Cumberbatch probably deserved a holiday, and that coffee, more than most of us. He recently wrapped filming on “The Hollow Crown,” a three-part BBC series featuring Shakespeare’s Henry VI and Richard III plays, in which Cumberbatch plays the bitter, ruthless Richard III.

“They’re [still] filming in Northumberland, freezing their asses off, going at it medieval style with broad swords and chainmail [armor] and horses, smoke and mud,” Cumberbatch said. “I’m in an SUV moving my way down to Palm Springs! But I paid my dues.”

By that he means he filmed “The Hollow Crown” last fall while simultaneously traveling back and forth to the U.S. to promote “The Imitation Game,” for which he has so far received Best Actor nominations for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award, for his performance as Alan Turing.


Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III

Benedict Cumberbatch as Richard III


How was filming “The Hollow Crown” and playing Richard III?

That was a pretty hard stint to film last year while I was flying to and from America to promote “The Imitation Game,” and it’s one of the huge roles as well. That was the first time in my life I sort of felt, “Oh God, I really hope I’m not compromising the work because of the amount I’m doing in my life.” It was uncontrollable, I couldn’t change it because I’m incredibly proud of the film as well. To play that character through all those films with [director Dominic Cooke] was an absolute joy. Hugely challenging, fun, terrifying. You kind of scoop your soul out and replace it with that black and bitter bile of a wronged, injured, disabled, angry man who becomes psychotic, or a sociopath. Pretty scary stuff to inhabit, but the most extraordinary language to do it with. Stuff like:

I have no brother, I am like no brother;
And this word ‘love,’ which graybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another
And not in me: I am myself alone.*

To say that into the pitch black of the camera, covered in the blood of Henry VI – I spoiled it a bit, there you go. It’s in the history books –  you don’t get those opportunities more than once in a life.

There was once so much mystery surrounding Richard III’s death.

Less now. We know he didn’t have a limp, he didn’t have a withered arm, he was spiked, he was bludgeoned to death, he definitely fell from his horse. He was a good jouster — that was his main skill on horseback. The armor was an exoskeleton to protect his spine, he had a very acute scoliosis. He was in more pain near the end of his life. He consumed a lot more alcohol during his two-year reign. Someone’s been telling me from Leicester University that I am actually closer in genealogy – I haven’t given them DNA – but I am more closely related to him than any royal line. They know lots of people that claim to have a link to the Plantagenet line but apparently mine’s quite strong and suddenly during the filming of a scene, I got this email from them. So we’re going to investigate that one when the holidays are over. It’s a kind of a weird synchronicity.



Very interesting read and be interesting to see if they use Benedict’s DNA link to Richard III when advertising the show close to airing….maybe we’ll get to ask him (never say never)!


*Henry VI pt3, (Act 5, Scene 6)


Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-SEB-85773

Dec 17

Hollow Crown to film at Alnwick Castle

alnwick Castle


The Northumberland Gazette is reporting that The Hollow Crown is to be filming at Alnwick Castle next year.


It is not known who or what will be filming in Alnwick, but it is thought to involve a large number of cast and crew, as part of the town’s Greenwell Lane car park behind the Castle has been reserved from January 10 to 17, according to Alnwick’s county councillor Gordon Castle.

The castle has been used before in various films and tv series including Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. No further details.

Source: http://www.northumberlandgazette.co.uk/news/local-news/major-tv-series-to-film-in-alnwick-early-next-year-1-7002713

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