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A Trademark Touring and Watermill Theatre Production
By Ian Hislop and Nick Newman

Thu 20 Sep 2018 - Sat 24 Nov 2018

‘I ask you, is laughter treason? Surely not!’


Following critical acclaim for The Wipers Times, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman return to The Watermill with the premiere of a new play inspired by extraordinary real-life events.

William Hone, the forgotten hero of free speech, was a bookseller, publisher and satirist. In 1817, he stood trial for ‘impious blasphemy and seditious libel’. The only crime he had committed 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 debauched monarchy.

Along with his great ally, political cartoonist George Cruikshank, Hone sought vindication for his laughable offences and fought for freedom in one of the most remarkable legal cases of its time.

Thursday 20 September - Saturday 27 October
The Watermill Theatre, Newbury

Box Office 01635 46044
Book Online 

Monday 29 October - Saturday 3 November
Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Box Office 01483 44 00 00
Book Online 

Monday 5 November - Saturday 10 November
The New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Box Office 01473 295900
Book Online

Monday 12 November - Saturday 17 November
Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

Box Office 01242 572573
Book Online

Monday 19 November - Saturday 24 November
Theatre Royal, Brighton

Box Office 0844 871 7650
Book Online





Directed by Caroline Leslie