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By Ian Hislop and Nick Newman

Based on a true story

A Trademark Touring and Watermill Theatre Production  

Thu 03 Nov 2016 - Sat 19 Nov 2016

“The war is not funny, Sir.” Colonel Howfield
“I’ve a feeling that may be the point.”
General Mitford

The Wipers Times is a stage adaptation of the award-winning BBC film by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. It tells the 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 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 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 takes place one hundred years after the Battle of the Somme and publication of The Wipers Times.

Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s comedy, A Bunch of Amateurs, played to packed houses at The Watermill in 2014.

Touring to:

3 - 5 November
Sheffield Theatres
Box office 0114 249 6000
Book online

7 - 12 November
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Box office 01473 295900
Book online

14 - 19 November
Salisbury Playhouse

Box office 01722 320 333
Book online



Directed by Caroline Leslie
Designed by Dora Schweitzer
Lighting designed by James Smith
Sound designed by Steve Mayo
Composer Nick Green
Musical Director Paul Herbert