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William Holds the Stage

Just William - Live!, Series 3 Episode 1 of 2

30 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 23 December 2012

Last May, as part of Winchester's Best of British Festival in celebration of the Jubilee, Martin Jarvis performed the first of two of Richmal Crompton's comic classics, live on-stage.

In William Holds the Stage, when an old boy of the school gives a lecture on Hamlet, William gets a somewhat confused idea that Shakespeare's plays were written by a man called Ham, and that Shakespeare poisoned Ham, and stole the plays and pretended he had written them. Then a man called Bacon got involved and possibly someone called Eggs as well.

When it's announced that the class will perform a scene from Hamlet in front of a live audience, William decides that, despite being cast as an attendant, he'd prefer to play the leading role himself. But things don't go entirely to plan.

A packed house at the Theatre Royal rocks with laughter as Jarvis performs William's hilariously inventive version of Shakespeare's masterpiece. Just William as 'stand-up'.

Performed by Martin Jarvis
Director: Rosalind Ayres.
A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.


Martin Jarvis
Rosalind Ayres
Richmal Crompton

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