Following a sold-out UK tour in 2016, and a fast-selling limited season in the West End – currently playing until 13th May at the Arts Theatre –the producers of The Wipers Times are pleased to announce that the production will once again tour the UK this autumn. It will open at the New Theatre Cardiff on 12th September 2017, and visit Oxford, Richmond, Southend, Guildford, Salisbury, Manchester, Cheltenham and Glasgow.
Full tour dates at www.wiperstimesplay.co.uk with casting to be announced.
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s The Wipers Times – a stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film – tells the true and 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.
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman said: “Following an amazing audience and critical reaction in the West End which was almost over the top, Wipers Times is on manoeuvres again around Britain. We look forward to sharing the remarkable trench humour of the Wipers Times with new theatre-goers around the country. We are delighted it is not Journey’s End but the tour will all be over by Christmas.”
Review by Peter Yates – LondonTheatre1.com
“Ultimately, what we have here is a well-researched and highly informative historical document that can take its richly-deserved place alongside R.C. Sherriff’s Journey’s End, arguably the greatest war play ever written, as an invaluable resource for all those who wish to find out about the Great War. It seems appropriate that Sherriff was a contributor to The Wipers Times, though his fame lived, and still lives, long after the war, unlike the paper’s leading lights. Hislop and Newman have ensured, I believe, that the forgotten editors of “The Wipers Times”, Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson, along with all the contributors, should for ever be remembered.” Read the full review here
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 originally launched one hundred years after the Battle of the Somme and publication of The Wipers Times.
The Wipers Times is directed by Caroline Leslie, designed by Dora Schweitzer, with lighting design by James Smith, sound design by Steve Mayo. The composer is Nick Green, and Musical Director Paul Herbert.
THE WIPERS TIMES – FULL TOUR DATES
Tuesday 12 – Saturday 16 September Cardiff New Theatre
Monday 18 – Saturday 23 September Oxford Playhouse
Monday 25 – Saturday 30 September Richmond Theatre
Monday 9 – Saturday 14 October Palace Theatre, Southend-on-Sea
Monday 16 – Saturday 21 October Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford
Monday 23 – Saturday 28 October Salisbury Playhouse
(Tickets on sale Saturday 13 May)
Tuesday 31 October – Saturday 4 November Manchester Opera House
Tuesday 7 – Saturday 11 November Glasgow Theatre Royal
Monday 13 – Saturday 18 November Cheltenham Everyman Theatre