Following a run at the Watermill Theatre, Newbury and a UK tour in 2016, satirical play ‘The Wipers Times’ arrived in the West End with a limited run at The Arts Theatre. We were chosen to provide lighting equipment for this dark comedy from the trenches. 

A stage adaptation of their award-winning BBC film, The Wipers Times by Ian Hislop and Nick Newman, tells the true and extraordinary story of the satirical newspaper that was created in the mud and mayhem of the Somme.


We worked with Lighting Designer James Smith to provide lighting equipment for the production when it toured in 2016 and were delighted to be asked to be involved once again when it arrived in the West End.

In line with technical enhancements within the industry, the rig for the West End production utilised a mixture of LED fixtures, such as the ETC ColorSource Spot, alongside more traditional tungsten fixtures such as the Vari*lite VL1000TS.

Due to the huge variety of locations in the play, it required a wide range of fixtures including framing moving lights, LED source fours, zoomable LED cans and very tight Aero cans. From the somber Front Line to the vibrant colour of the comedy sketches, the equipment we suggested and supplied provided LD James Smith the palette he needed to create this multi-location, film-like piece of theatre.”

Also featuring on ‘The Wipers Times’ West End kit list is the Martin Rush Par 2, a bright LED PAR that offers an electronic zoom function. The fixture offers much greater versatility than a standard PAR when it comes to design, allowing the LD full RGBW colour mixing.


"After seeing the success of how Hawthorn delivered the UK tour of 'Wind in the Willows', of which I’m the Associate LD, it was not a hard decision to ask them to supply the lighting equipment for 'The Wipers Times', both on the original tour and the transfer to the Arts Theatre.

"The Martin Rush Par II fixture is new to the West End version of the show and I was so impressed with it that it now forms the backbone of the design as we move forward to the next tour"

James Smith

Lighting Designer, The Wipers Times