Wednesday, March 20

Stage: The Wipers Times

- September 17, 2018

The-Wipers-Times-company-Photograph-by-Kirsten-McTernan

Anyone who has visited the battlefields of WWI in Northern France will know what a somber and moving experience it can be, the terrifying situation and terrible conditions endured by the troops at the front were undoubtedly horrifying, but out of that horror came a ray of hope in the form of a newspaper. 

The Wipers Times is Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme. In a bombed out building during the First World War in the Belgian town of Ypres (mis-pronounced Wipers by British soldiers), two officers discover a printing press and create a newspaper for the troops.

Far from being a sombre 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 front line.

Resolutely cheerful, subversive and very funny

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. 

This magnificent stage adaptation of Hislop and Newman’s award-winning BBC film of the same name received stunning reviews and enjoyed a sell-out West End run. Now in this significantly important year the play is back on tour and heading to Eastbourne for the first time ever. 

2018 marks the 100th centenary year of the end of the First World War and the final battle of Ypres, the Fifth Battle which ended early October 1918. In the area around Ypres including Passchendaele, over 1,700,000 soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded and an uncounted number of civilians.

The Wipers Times, Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne from Monday 1 – Saturday 6 October
01323 412000, eastbournetheatres.co.uk


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