Eastbourne theatre-goers have a rare opportunity to ask BAFTA nominated writing partners Ian Hislop and Nick Newman about the creation of stage play The Wipers Times when it runs at the Devonshire Park Theatre from October 1-6.
The pair will take part in a Question And Answer session on stage after the 7.45pm performance on Tuesday October 2. The Wipers Times is based on real life events in WW1 when a satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme managed to keep British spirits up.
Hislop is a journalist, satirist, writer, broadcaster and perhaps best known as the editor of Private Eye magazine and team captain on BBC quiz Have I Got News for You. Nick Newman is a comedy writer and also a satirical British cartoonist.
Having met as youths working on revues at Ardingly College in East Sussex, Ian and Nick continued their partnership at Oxford and have been regular writing partners since.
Previous writing credits include A Bunch Of Amateurs, a comedy about a village drama group was originally conceived as a film starring the late great Burt Reynolds, Derek Jacobi and Imelda Staunton before being adapted to stage, and their latest play A Trial By Laughter will be taken on a national tour shortly. The writing partners have written scripts for 1980s political satire series Spitting Image, two series of My Dad’s The Prime Minister, writing for Maureen Lipman and contributing to Murder Most Horrid for Dawn French. And for radio their credits include BBC Radio 4 series Gush and The News At Bedtime.
The Wipers Times is their first stage play, adapted from their 2013 BBC First World War dramatization of the creation of the newspaper by the same name. 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 cheery, subversive and funny newspaper for the troops on the front line.
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. Tickets priced from £21 - onstage Q&A included on Tuesday night.