26th October – 30th October. 2017.
2017 is a significant year in which we commemorate the 3rd Battle of Ypres, also known as Passenchendael. The Nations meet in Flanders Fields, the London Mint has issued a commemorative coin and Richmond Theatre is showing ‘ Wipers Times’.
There were five Battles of Ypres during World War 1 around the Belgian city of Ypres where the German army clashed with the Allied Armies. The third battle was fought from July to November in 1917, one hundred years ago. In this battle alone 400,000 to 800,000 lives were lost.
The London Mint’s coin honours their sacrifice and features the poppy, symbol of remembrance from Flanders Fields and the Angel of Mons, who is said to protect the soldiers.
Richmond Theatre is most appropriately showing ‘Wipers Times’ by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman. It is a true story set in the trenches during World War 1 near Ypres. A printing Press was discovered during the chaos and mended. A newspaper was created which ran for two years. It was light and satirical, designed to raise the spirits of the soldiers. It was called ‘Wipers Times’ after the way the soldiers pronounced Ypres!
It is an unusual play full of humour and courage. Its survival was amazing against the back drop of gas attacks, enemy fire and appalling conditions.
It is always a pleasure to visit Richmond Theatre.