Arts & Culture

Ian Hislop & Nick Newman’s critically acclaimed play The Wipers Times at Oxford Playhouse

By Cait Sweeney at

Following record-breaking runs in Oxford and the West End last year, Ian Hislop & Nick Newman’s critically acclaimed play The Wipers Times will return to Oxford Playhouse this September.

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.

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 100 years after the Battle of the Somme and publication of The Wipers Times. This current run coincides with the commemoration of the end of WW1.

The Wipers Times is written by Ian Hislop; the well-known journalist, satirist, writer, editor of Private Eye, and Magdalen College graduate, and Nick Newman; the satirical British cartoonist, comedy scriptwriter and Oriel College graduate.

Tickets for The Wipers Times at Oxford Playhouse start at £10 and are available from the Ticket Office on 01865 305305 or book online at

Dates: Monday 3 to Saturday 8 September 2018
Times: Mon to Thu & Sat eves 7.30pm | Fri 8pm | Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm
Captioned performance: Wed 7.30pm
Tickets: £10 to £37.50 | No discounts on Fri and Sat eves
Age Guideline: 12+