The Wipers Times, the extraordinary story of a hilarious satirical newspaper created in the mayhem of the Somme, returns to the Arts Theatre.
Penned by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, and based on the writing duo’s award-winning BBC film, The Wipers Times tells the true story of events which occurred when two officers stumbled across a printing press in the Belgian town of Ypres (often mispronounced ‘Wipers’ by British soldiers).
From the muddy surroundings of the trenches, they decided to create a newspaper for the troops. But rather than penning another sombre journal, they created a subversively sharp-witted, canny – and very funny – newspaper designed to lift their colleagues’ spirits.
Interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line, The Wipers Times became a symbol of the resilience of the human spirit, in the face of overwhelming adversity. Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times continued to roll off the trench press for a further two years.
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s play originally launched one hundred years after the Battle of the Somme, and the first publication of the titular newspaper. The show then toured to the UK to great acclaim over the past two years, including a stint at the Arts Theatre in 2017.
Now, playing as part of a third Autumn tour, The Wipers Times returns to London from 15 October 2018 for a further seven week season. As Hislop and Newman themselves have said of the production, “The Wipers Times is on manoeuvres again around Britain.
“We look forward to sharing the remarkable trench humour of the Wipers Times with new theatre-goers around the country. We are delighted it is not Journey’s End – but the tour will all be over by Christmas.”