The Wipers Times - The tale of a newspaper created amid the horror of the trenches

Chris Levens and Kevin Brewer in The Wipers Times - Photograpgh by Kirsten McTernan
Chris Levens and Kevin Brewer in The Wipers Times - Photograpgh by Kirsten McTernan

Tickets are selling fast for The Wipers Times, Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme.

This acclaimed production is sure to be a season highlight and comes to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park Theatre from Monday 1 – Saturday 6 October direct from a record breaking West End season.

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.

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.

This year 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, more than 1,700,000 soldiers on both sides were killed or wounded and an uncounted number of civilians.

The Wipers Times is at the Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne from Monday 1 – Saturday 6 October, tickets are priced from £21, to book call the box office now on 01323 412000 or online eastbournetheatres.co.uk Print-at-home tickets now available when booking online. Audio described performances are on Friday night and Saturday matinees of week-long productions. Show programmes are available to purchase online. Check the Eastbourne Theatres website for details. ENDS