The Wipers Times is a touchingly poignant, gentle but funny show which successfully shows how laughter helped one group of soldiers get through the war – without diminishing the impact WWI had on them and the world as a whole.
As the centenary commemorations of World War I draw to a close it seems fitting that Nick Newman and Ian Hislop’s The Wipers Times returns to the Arts Theatre.
Despite a lack of connection, The Wipers Times celebrates a great, previously untold story, about war, journalism, tenacity, and the need for humour in difficult times.
Caroline Leslie’s direction allows for scenes to seamlessly alternate between that of military attack to a music-hall comedy sketch.
Ian Hislop and Nick Newman’s stage version of their more realistic television play screened by the BBC in 2013 neatly captures their schoolboy humour but is just a bit too schoolboyish in its execution.
There is greatness in joking at the mouth of Hell; especially if those jokes are part of comradeship, a gift to those alongside. A hundred years ago in the ruins of Ypres, a weary, dusty group of the 24th Sherwood Foresters were scavenging for things to shore up the battered trenches, and chanced upon a hand-fed printing machine and some trays of type.
Noises Off, written by Michael Frayn, takes us behind the scenes to witness the backstage shenanigans of a shambolic theatre company. With less than twenty-four hours to go until their opening night of ‘Nothing On’ everything that can go wrong, is going hopelessly wrong. When the play opens the cast are in the throes of their dress rehearsal…or is it their technical rehearsal…nobody really seems to know. However, one thing is for certain – there are plenty of laughs in this chaotic and hilarious comedy about this dysfunctional theatre company.
Do yourself a favour if you’re thinking of going to Thark: don’t look it up on Wikipedia. The description of the plot runs to four convoluted paragraphs and won’t leave you any the wiser. What you need to know is it’s a 1920s farce of the kind that was the forerunner to all those ‘Whoops Vicar There […]
The post Review: Thark (Park Theatre) appeared first on JohnnyFox.