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6-7 Great Newport Street, London WC2H 7JB

The Wipers Times Poster

The Wipers Times

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Closed December 1, 2018

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?

PlaysComedy Theatre

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 returns to London's Arts Theatre in winter 2018. 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 trenches of the Somme in our darkest hour.

"Wipers" was actually the mispronunciation 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 forebear of satirical newspapers in the UK, including Private Eye, which incidentally, Hislop actually edits!

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Additional Information


Opening night: 9 October 2018


Suitable for ages 12+

Cast and 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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