An extraordinary account of a showman's life drawn from his memoirs about touring a rough waxworks show around the southern counties of England in the 1840s. Read by Tony Lidington.
Published in 1896, Bill Smith's memoirs recall his early life working for his Uncle Joe, whose touring waxworks show was well-known at country fairs in the south of England in the middle of the 19th century.
It's an extraordinary story of the hardships of an itinerant performer's life, in an age when the great historical characters from kings to vagabonds, and famous scenes from the Bible, literature and fairy tales were brought to the towns and villages of England by the showmen and storytellers of the travelling fairs.
In today's episode we hear Uncle Joe in action as he describes the execution of King Charles I and the love life of Bluff King Hal in his own inimitable way - with very little regard for historical accuracy.
A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.