The Wipers Times at Arts Theatre tickets
The Wipers Times at Arts Theatre tickets

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About the show

Following a second hugely successful sold-out national tour, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s satirical play The Wipers Times returns to the Arts Theatre in London’s West End. Originally premiering in 2013 as a BBC film, exactly 100 years after the Battle of the Somme, the comedy is inspired by the real story of the creation of The Wipers Times.

Based on the extraordinary true story of the men who created a satirical newspaper amongst the chaos and destruction of the Somme, The Wipers Times is intersected with hilarious sketches and spoofs from the brilliant imaginations of those on the front line. Created to lift the troop’s spirits, the paper encapsulated the remarkable trench humour of the First World War.

When two army officers discover a printing press in a destroyed building during World War One, in the Belgian town of Ypres (wrongly assumed to be pronounced by the soldiers as Wipers), they get a unique idea. Instead of using the press to print a bleak account of life in the trenches, they create a resolutely cheery, subversive newspaper with the purpose of keeping everyone’s spirits high on the frontline.

As their enemies dropped bombs, gassed their trenches and the Top Brass disapproved, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for a phenomenal two years. The Wipers Times acts a tribute to the resilience of human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.

Original 2017 casting saw Kevin Brewser as Henderson, James Dutton as Roberts, George Kemp as Pearson, Jake Morgan as Barnes and Dan Tetsell and General Mitford.

Written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, The Wipers Times is directed by Caroline Leslie, featuring design by Dora Schweitzer, lighting design by James Smith, sound design by Steve Mayo and original compositions by Nick Green.

Heralded as a funny and original production, The Wipers Times returns to the West End once more for a strictly limited season, playing at the Arts Theatre from 15 October to 1 December 2018, with a press night on 18 October 2018.

Recommended for

The Wipers Times is perfect for those who love sharp and witty political satires. Fans of Ian Hislop and Nick Newman should not miss out on tickets for this acclaimed comedy.

Age Recommendations: Recommended 12+

Dates and times

Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes (including an interval)
Opened: 15 Oct 2018
Press night: 18 Oct 2018
Booking from: 30 Nov 2018
Booking until: 01 Dec 2018

Location and map

Arts Theatre
6-7 Great Newport Street
London, WC2H 7JB

12 Reviews Add review

doonakebab 5'10", 189 reviews, 4 helpful votes

Such a wonderful play! Really funny but with sad undertones. You are regularly reminded that a war is happening, but the lead character... More

sarahwells1 5”4, 72 reviews, 1 helpful vote

A poignant, moving and humorous piece of theatre.

katieh2 18 reviews, 0 helpful votes

jamesflockhart 5''11, 223 reviews, 16 helpful votes

Wonderful production in which we saw the versatility of actors as they performed several roles apiece. Very impressive to see how they... More

dianaj2 1 review, 0 helpful votes

Great show, really well acted. There are lots of changes to the furniture on stage which the actors move and this worked very well.... More

lynnew 5' 3", 30 reviews, 3 helpful votes

I really liked it, great actors. A beautiful hero story.

sergioAraujo 192 reviews, 2 helpful votes

An irreverent look at life in The Trenches during World War 1, via the newspaper Wipers Times, written and printed from the front line... More

dianabarber 1 review, 0 helpful votes

A wry look at how troops kept their spirits up in the trenches in WW1: amusing.

jeanettemartin 5' 3", 62 reviews, 1 helpful vote