The lead, William, is a boy 81/2 who throughout the play fantasizes about
all the great questions—life, war, love, sex—while his mother, off-stage, calls to him impatiently to get dressed so they can go out. During the piece, his
fantasies are enacted by dancers who appear behind him. There can be
almost any number, but two or three will do. William can be played by an actor of almost any age. In Cambridge, UK, where the play was originally performed, he
was 17 years old.
The play was requested by the drama club of Trinity College at Cambridge University and performed in a hall in the city in 1976. The young man playing the lead, although a teen-ager, did a thoroughly convincing portrayal of an 8 ½-year-old boy.