The Cambridge Geek

Just William - Live!

Part of me (the most William-like part), is tempted to simply do a find and replace on my previous review of Martin Jarvis doing Jeeves Live, replacing Bertie with William and Jeeves with Mr. Brown, but I'm slightly worried that would be almost entirely nonsensical. Best to be safe then, as difficult as that might be, and try and stagger up a few original thoughts.

If you've not encountered any of these before, or not listened to any of Jarvis' studio recordings, they're Jarvis reading a given William story, while putting on a range of suitable voices and given a usually hilarious delivery. No change here, as he recites the tale of "William and the School Report".

William has been threatened with additional coaching over the school holidays, if he happens to bring home an end of year report that is anything less than exemplary. Since this is William, I don't think you'll need three guesses to determine just how likely that is. This, then, is the story of the long walk home with said report, and the cloud of dread hovering over him as he contemplates handing it over to his father, the ever-stern Mr. Brown.

And worse still is that they're expecting a visit from Augusta, one of his father's unmarried aunts, whom they are rather desperate to impress, given her lack of children and possibly inheritable estate. (Luckily, unlike in Wodehouse's oeuvre, here aunts are somewhat less ferocious.)

As always, Jarvis owns the room (as you can hopefully tell from the title, these are recorded from a live performance to a very appreciative audience - really must try and get to one at some point) with his nuanced delivery and great sense of fun. Mr. Brown is curt, grumpy, but occasionally generous, and William is a perfect example of the surly boy. He is, of course, the favoured character, with his sneaky protestations that, when regarding reports, "we're not allowed to look at 'em" inevitably being a delight.

It's a master of storytelling giving voice to one of the most popular sets of children's stories. Why would you not listen to this?

Score 5

Tagged: Radio Comedy Monologue Fiction Adaptation