location

6-7 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB

The Wipers Times Poster

The Wipers Times

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Closed May 13, 2017

What this play brilliantly conveys, without any sentimentality and with copious gags, is that the production of a few fragile pieces of paper came almost to matter more to those chaps involved than life itself.

The Telegraph

Why See The Wipers Times?

The satirical paper that raised trench morale

What would you do if you came across a printing press in the midst of the First World War? That is the question asked by this new stage adaptation of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman's darkly satirical play that comes to London's Arts Theatre, following a successful UK tour. Telling the eyebrow-raising true story of a group of enterprising British troops who decided to publish a satirical newspaper for their fellow soldiers, join the Tommies 100 years in the past as they perform the sketches and comedy prose featured that lightened the mood of the Somme's trenches in their darkest hour.

"Wipers" was actually the mispronounciation of the Belgian town of Ypres, where the troops discovered a bombed-out printing factory. Thinking quickly, they decided to turn it to their use, and publish satirical material lampooning their superiors and dire situation - something that had the generals initially tearing their hair out in exasperation. Despite delaying production during the two-month German push, they returned to printing and composing the Wipers. It is nowadays held up as the forebearer of satirical newspapers in the UK, including Private Eye, which incidentally, Hislop actually edits!

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Additional Information

Dates

Opening night: 21 March 2017

Audience

Suitable for ages 12+

Cast and Creative

Cast


Creative

Kevin Brewer as Henderson
James Dutton as Roberts
George Kemp as Pearson
Jake Morgan as Barnes
Dan Tetsell as General Mitford

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