My Beef with :The Wipers Times

The Wipers Times is a play based on the 2013 direct to TV movie of the same name.  I just wish I had known this before I bought my tickets. (I definitely would have second guessed my decision to see it on the opening week).

The play was written by Ian Hislop (Editor of Private Eye Magazine) and Nick Newman. I am normally a massive fan of Ian Hislop after seeing him on lots of shows. It was in fact him discussing the play on Peston on Sunday that sparked my interest. The premise of the play is in fact entirely more interesting that the play itself.

The play was released on the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of the Sommes and follows a group of British soldiers who find a newspaper press and circulate a satirical newspaper. — You can see why this plot paired with Ian Hislop was immediately appealing.


The way the play fell short for me was a lack of edge and a drawn out run time . This play seemed like it could have run its course within 45/50 mins. No interlude required ! What I mean by a lack of edge is that while it was dealing with a brutal subject matter it seemed to be working to actively avoid discussing it.

I understand that I may not have been the target audience but by the end even the target audience in the theater looked on the verge of sleep.

Many of the jokes were predictable but that is to be expected given the fact the source material is 100 years old. The issue was a lack of creativity with the stage direction, it seemed that it could have been put together in a single afternoon.

The writing had far to many winks towards the audience and the musical set pieces dragged on longer than the war itself !!

I would not recommend !


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