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About the showIan Hislop and Nick Newman’s fresh and funny stage adaptation of their BBC film The Wipers Times had come to the Arts Theatre, for a limited West End engagement. Inspired by the true story of the officers who created a satirical newspaper for their troops during World War One, The Wipers Times has enjoyed a sold-out tour across the UK and opened at the London venue in March 2017.
Set in a bombed-out building during the First World War, two officers discover a printing press that leads them to create a humorous newspaper to lift the spirits of their troops. Named The Wipers Times after the Belgian town of Ypres (which the 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 the endless onslaught of enemy attack, this extraordinary play demonstrates the real resilience in the face of extreme adversity. After rolling out prints for over two years, The Wipers Times takes place 100 years after the Battle of the Somme and the publication of paper.
Originally premiering in 2013 as a BBC film, The Wipers Times is written by Private Eye co-workers Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. Cast members include 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. Having opened at the Arts Theatre London for a limited season, the play runs from March 21st to May 13th 2017, having had an official opening on March 27th 2017.
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.
The Wipers Times may not be suitable for young children.