West End hit The Wipers Times comes to Northcott Theatre Exeter

PUBLISHED: 17:00 03 September 2018

George Kemp in The Wipers Times. Picture: Kirsten McTernan

George Kemp in The Wipers Times. Picture: Kirsten McTernan

Kirsten McTernan

Play about a comic newspaper produced by soldiers fighting the First World War, to boost morale among front-line troops

The Wipers Times. Picture: Kirsten McTernanThe Wipers Times. Picture: Kirsten McTernan

A highly acclaimed play, telling the true story of a satirical newspaper created by soldiers fighting in Ypres during the First World War, is coming to the Northcott Theatre, Exeter.

The Wipers Times (the newspaper was named after the way many soldiers mispronounced Ypres) was, appropriately enough, co-written by the Private Eye editor Ian Hislop.

The play tells how two officers discovered a printing press in a bombed-out building and decided to create an amusing newspaper to lift the spirits of the front-line troops, who were fighting in the trenches in terrible conditions. Despite enemy bombardment, gas attacks and the disapproval of many senior officers, The Wipers Times rolled off the press for two years, and was gladly received by the soldiers, many of whom contributed their own comic material.

As well as having a hit run in London’s West End, the play sold out when it toured the UK in 2016 and 2017. It will be at the Northcott Theatre from Monday, September 10 until 15.

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