The Typographic Hub

NOTE: This event is now closed

Baskerville Society: Hic Jacet or The Corpse in the Crescent

7th December 2013

Whilst there is a good body of poetry and prose, both fact and fiction that has been written about the craft of printing, there is however, only one radio play.

Hic Jacet, or The Corpse in the Crescent is a macabre story about the death and post-mortem antics of John Baskerville! Written by Neville Brendon Watts. It was first broadcast by the Midland’s Home Service of the BBC on 29 December 1947. As far as we know, it has only been performed twice and no recording of the original broadcast is available. However, copies of the script have been discovered both in the Archives at Birmingham Reference Library and the Norman Painting Archives at the University of Birmingham. Painting was the Reader in the original broadcast and went on to play Phil Archer in the BBC Radio 4 soap opera: a role he played for more than 50 years. Other members of the original cast of Hic Jacet also went on to play long running characters in the Archers including Wortley Allen [Amos], Chris Gittins [Walter Gabriel] and Denis Folwell  [Jack Archer]. A copy of Paintings own script of the play - heavily annotated and adorned with doodles - can be seen at the University of Birmingham.

Hic Jacet or The Corpse in the Crescent will be presented by the Baskerville Society and performed by members of the Birmingham School of Acting, as part of 'Volume: Birmingham Art, Book and Print Fair' which is part of the three-month long Discovery Season to celebrate the opening of the Library of Birmingham.

This performance starts at 1400.