BBC Radio 4 drama ‘Trial by Laughter’ is now available on iplayer for just over 20 days.
Written by Ian Hislop (the editor of Private Eye and a team captain on ‘Have I got News for You’) and his long-term collaborator Nick Newman (a satirical cartoonist for The Sunday Times and Private Eye), ‘Trial by Laughter’ is a comedy drama based on the real transcripts of the trial of William Hone in 1817.
William Hone is the forgotten hero of free speech in Britain. He was a bookseller, publisher, printshop-owner and satirist – George Cruikshank was his friend and collaborator . In 1817, he stood trial for ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. His crime was to be funny. Worse than that he was funny by parodying religious texts. And worst of all, he was funny about the despotic government and the libidinous monarchy.
Original music by Conrad Nelson
Director/Producer Gary Brown
For clips, the cast list, and background information on the trial, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b071h2x6.
Click here to read Nick Newman’s article on Cruikshank and Hone for the BBC website.
For information on the William Hone collection at Adelphi University, USA, see http://libraries.adelphi.edu/archives-and-special-collections/special-collectionsfinding-aids/hone-collection/.