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Everyone deserves to get away for a bit. Even the miscreants at St Mary's.
Astonishingly, Dr. Bairstow has declared a holiday. Even more astonishingly - he's paying for it. Needless to say, there are strings attached. They have to record the 1601 performance of Hamlet, with Shakespeare himself in the role of the Ghost. It doesn't go well, of course.
With Dr. Bairstow and Mrs. Mack turning a simple visit to a street market into a public brawl, Professor Rapson inadvertently stowing away on a vessel bound for the New World, and Shakespeare himself going up in flames, it would seem that Max, of all people, is the only one actually completing the assignment.