"Uniquely British gallows humour"
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"Seamless comedic performances"
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Sorry, The Wipers Times closed on 01 Dec 2018

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About the show

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s critically acclaimed stage adaptation of their BBC film The Wipers Times returns to the Arts Theatre for a second West End engagement. Inspired by the true story of the soldiers who created a satirical newspaper for troops during World War One, The Wipers Times originally premiered 100 years after the Battle of the Somme.

Set within a bombed-out building during the height of the First World War, two officers discover a printing press that leads them to create a notorious newspaper geared toward lifting the spirits of troops in the trenches. Dubbed The Wipers Times after the Belgian town of Ypres (which British soldiers mispronounced as Wipers), comic sketches and spoofs were packed into the paper to boost morale amongst the soldiers.

Despite facing disapproval from the Top Brass and an endless onslaught of enemy attack, this extraordinary play displays stark resilience in the face of extreme adversity, rolling out prints for over two years.

Originally premiering in 2013 as a BBC film, exactly 100 years after the paper’s publication, The Wipers Times is written by Private Eye’s Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. 2017 cast members included Kevin Brewer as Henderson, James Dutton as Roberts, George Kemp as Pearson, James Morgan as Barnes and Dan Tetsell as General Mitford.

Directed by Caroline Leslie (Thoroughly Modern Millie), The Wipers Times features design by Dora Schweitzer, lighting design by James Smith, sound design by Steve Mayo and original compositions by Nick Green.

Playing a strictly limited engagement at the Arts Theatre London, the play runs from October 18th to December 1st 2018, with previews beginning October 15th 2018.

Who Should See It?

Fans of war-time dramas such as Our Boys will enjoy the humour in this production, whilst history fans will find it fascinating. Those who missed the initial run now can catch it back in London!

The Wipers Times is recommended 12+.

Playing at

Arts Theatre
6-7 Great Newport Street
Seating Plan

Arts Theatre seating plan

Booking period

15th Oct 2018

5th Jun 2020

1st Dec 2018

Running time

2 hours 10 minutes (including an interval)


Recommended 12+