Sevenex has provided equity financing for The Wipers Times, a stage adaptation of the award-winning BBC film by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, produced by Trademark Touring in association with The Watermill Theatre. The play tells the extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper created in the mud and mayhem of Ypres and 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 a fitting tribute to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity.
“Richard and I backed this production almost as soon as we’d read the plot and script,” says Sevenex’s Jonathan Feroze. “It’s an extraordinary, yet true, story that sits perfectly on the stage, with a realistic budget.”
Following a sell-out UK regional tour, The Wipers Times transfers to the West End, at the Arts Theatre in March-April 2017, to be followed by a larger regional tour.