Following a critically acclaimed hit run in the West End in 2017, The Wipers Times will return to the Arts Theatre for a 7 week season following a UK tour.
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times - a stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film - tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme, interspersed with comic sketches and spoofs from the vivid imagination of those on the front line.
In a bombed out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mispronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops. Far from being a somber journal about life in the trenches they produced a resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny newspaper designed to lift the spirits of the men on the frontline.
Defying enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many of the top Brass, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years and was an extraordinary tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.
The production originally launched one hundred years after the Battle of the Somme and publication of The Wipers Times. This current run coincides with the commemoration of the end of WW1.