The Wipers Times is written by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman and focuses on how a war time newspaper, created by soldiers, gets them through the horrors they see and experience.
The story is very quaint and quirky and there are many laughs to be had, and much of the humour is intelligent, and this is balanced by poignant moments.
This is a true story and everything about this is engaging, because it explores language and its origins, Britishness, the effects of war and commaradery.
There are some lovely.performances and the Vaudeville style musical numbers are well delivered,
The venue though, creates a few problems. The actors do not appear to have mics, so trying to be heard in the vast Opera House proves difficult. Sweet rustlers and patrons constantly going the toilet during the play does not hlep either.
As it stands, The Wipers Times has some lovely moments and the premise is totally engaging. But, there is no real sense of genuine peril. So, it often feels a bit too slight to totally engage you for the entire running time.
This is a small story that deserves a small venue, in order to be totally immersive. But, the audience on the night I attended gave the play a warm reception, as it does tell a story that celebrates the human spirit.
Glenn Meads for Canal St Online
The Wipers Times is at the Manchester Opera House until 4 November. Click for details and tix.