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.