Wireless Operator

Theatre (new writing, true-life)

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  • Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Below
  • 12:40
  • Aug 26
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 12+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Silksheen Productions
  • Warnings and additional info: This performance will contain some distressing themes.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


This gripping true story of a terrifying night-time Lancaster Bomber raid in WWII uncovers the triggers of the lifelong legacy that traumatised those airmen who survived. This tense visceral play is told through the eyes and ears of the wireless operator. Confined in the claustrophobic aircraft the young crew struggle to survive. They avoid searchlights and flak, witness fellow airmen blown out of the sky and plunge into zero-gravity corkscrew manoeuvres to dodge enemy aircraft. As they unleash their deadly cargo onto the city below, the wireless operator agonises about the real cost of their mission.

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
  • Accessible entry: Main queue on road outside. 5 steps down to venue or Lift access through Pleasance Bar — ask at Box Office or bar for assistance.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 2 - 5
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

MichaelH 110 days ago

Evocative play well worth your time and money seeing this.

Calb 112 days ago

Well worth seeing. Very intense and varied in terms of emotion - a hard job for the sole actor who handles it really well.

Sue Grimshaw 112 days ago

I bought tickets for this play a couple of days before I arrived in Edinburgh because of the audience reviews it was receiving and I am so glad I did as this performance is a very strong contender for my favourite Fringe show of 2019.

I cannot praise it highly enough and all those involved need to be commended for putting together a truly wonderful show. From the intimacy of the stage setting to the sublime acting from the incredibly talented Thomas Dennis, I was emotionally invested from the very first minute right to the very last

A truly wonderful show. Thank you x

Julie Phillips 116 days ago

4* out of 5* from me. Entertaining but I’ve seen plenty of 5* shows

Fringe Bingers 117 days ago

A great piece of theatre and of acting, done with enormous commitment, skill and, above all, integrity. ****

Kirsty R 119 days ago

Excellent piece of theatre. Clever staging. Great acting.

Lesley 121 days ago

Amazing writing, set and sound. Incredible and heartbreaking performance by Thomas Dennis. Some things will stay with you a long time and I think this wonderful production will be one of those things. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Derek Newall 122 days ago

We thought this show was brilliant, operating on many levels with the actor displaying a wide range of emotions. Intense involvement - well worth seeing.

Andrew Riddle 122 days ago

Everything everyone said. Just go!!!!!

Ange BRENNER 123 days ago

Just seen Wireless Operator for the second time- just as amazing 2nd time around. Astounding performance by Thomas Dennis and a fantastic piece of writing from Bob Baldwin and Max Kinnings. YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS SHOW!

Paul Kutarski 124 days ago

One of the best things I have seen at the Fringe this year. Immersive and gripping right up to the end. I almost felt as if I had flown a mission by the time I came out.

Shaun Joynson 125 days ago

Based on his father’s experiences as a Wireless Operator on a Lancaster Bomber, this hugely emotional piece grips from start to finish thanks to an electrifying performance by Thomas Dennis.

This needs to be added to your ‘not to be missed’ list.

Shaun Conway 125 days ago

An absolute masterpiece! So emotional, so moving. Thomas Dennis is magnificent. That story needs to be told and to be seen! A harrowing journey. Thank you

Alastair Cameron 125 days ago

Great production, and powerful and moving performance from Thomas Dennis. Also great to see support for Combat Stress and the Bomber Command Centre in their in their informative programme, and the tributes to aircrew on their website. Went with three generations (my parents, and son aged 11), and all thought it was great. Advice: only just suitable for 11 yo (tense, and some swearing), but was fine for our son. Highly recommended.

Danielle McFadden 125 days ago

WirelessOp . To be honest I wasn’t sure if this was going to be my thing but gave it a chance and so glad I did. Such a powerful show and @TheThomasDennis performance was remarkable ! #MakeYourFringe #wirelessop

Lou 127 days ago

Wireless Operator is tense, and moving, and has some wonderful moments of humanity shining through. Well done to Thomas Dennis and everyone involved! Would definitely recommend.

Loraine Abbott 127 days ago

Brilliant.. Best show I have seen so far

Jane Gulliford Lowes 128 days ago

Wonderful and traumatic in equal measure, Thomas Dennis gives a spellbinding performance as Bomber Command crewman John. The script, the set, the historical details and most importantly the depiction of combat stress and trauma are absolutely spot on. Wireless Operator is an important play - go see it. You won’t be disappointed.

Laura Singleton 128 days ago

110% recommend, Thomas Dennis performance is outstanding with an incredible set design by Kit Line. Such an important message on veteran’s mental health, go see it!!

Sally Fawcett 128 days ago

Thought provoking, intense and emotional. This is Edinburgh Fringe at its best. Simply, a must see.

Graham Sutherland 129 days ago

'The Wireless Operator' is an excellent production which should be on a 'must see' list at this year's Fringe .
It is based on the real experiences of a World War 2 Lancaster Bomber Wireless Operator .
It captures the tension, danger and incredible stress which young airmen faced. As Bomber Command had a 45% mortality rate many knew they
might not return alive .

Thomas Dennis plays John the Wireless Operator superbly .

I would highly recommend anyone attending this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe to go and experience it!

Graham Sutherland
(Son of Lancaster Bomber Wireless Operator Flt Lt. Alexander R Sutherland MBE)

Stuart Hodgson 129 days ago

2/8/19 - Just returned from watching the production of Wireless Operator at the Pleasance venue. It is essentially a one man performance, with Thomas Dennis (previously War Horse) playing the role of John, the Wireless Operator in the crew of a Lancaster Bomber during their 35th and final bombing mission on a German city during WW2. This new play explores the impact and trauma experienced by crew members, in the eyes of John.
My late Father-in-Law survived a tour of 28 missions, as a Lancaster Bomber wireless Operator, but spoke little of his experiences and we went hoping to gain more of an insight to what he experienced. We were not disappointed and Thomas gave an incredible performance, that was very moving and at times extremely powerful. The production was a great success and one that is thoroughly recommended. Well done to all involved.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

UK Theatre Web (5/5 stars) 111 days ago

Beautifully crafted, subtlely performed and with a fantasically evocative set and audi/video support this is a play which will stick with me. Few of those involved in these raids have spoken of their experiences, it is wonderful that it has been encapsulated in this piece. Excellent.

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Ed Fringe Review (4/5 stars) 114 days ago

Thomas Dennis is utterly convincing...

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Ed Fringe Review (4/5 stars) 114 days ago

An emotionally turbulent performance...

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Edinburgh Guide (4/5 stars) 115 days ago

Here we go again.  I could do without this, especially as I haven’t slept a wink.  Everything’s changed, everything’s different. John prepares for a final wartime mission as wireless operator with the crew of Lancaster bomber G for George. They go through their customs to invoke Lady Luck while performing...

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British Theatre.com (4/5 stars) 115 days ago

Under Baldwin’s direction, the show’s strength is its visceral, emotional power, giving you a glimpse of the white-knuckle challenges that airmen repeatedly faced, with life and death hanging in the balance.

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One4Review (5/5 stars) 117 days ago

As we enter the venue, we are also boarding a Lancaster Bomber about to embark on a raid over Germany in 1944. The engines are already running, ready to take off, but our view is only of the internal wireless … Read More ...

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FringeReview 120 days ago

A young man forms part of a Lancaster bomber squadron, going out on yet another raid towards the end of World War II. The play conveys parts of the overall journey, with the plane being in almost constant mortal danger. John, the Wireless Operator, carries out his duties on the...

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The Mumble (4/5 stars) 122 days ago

This was a killer play that was messy; exposing guts, tears, humanity, responsibility and showcased the cruel irony of ordinary decent men having to go to war. But duty had to be done, he did not ask for our mercy but he sure as sure asked for God’s. Another absolute must see – a bit of a masterpiece actually!

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British Theatre Guide (4/5 stars) 122 days ago

Bomber crews are an often unsung part of the nature of warfare. While the low life expectancy, high death rate and the constant peril make fine bedfellows for the traffic of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe stage, it is a rarity. This surprising fact is only highlighted by the sense of...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 122 days ago

“I’m a killer and a father, how am I going to live with that?” The question at the heart of this powerful and moving one-man show tells the story of John, the titular Wireless Operator on a Lancaster Bomber heading out on one final, perilous bombing raid at the height...

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Theatre Weekly (4/5 stars) 123 days ago

Very sensitively written, and beautifully performed Wireless Operator is clearly a passion project that has had the opportunity to come to fruition at the Edinburgh Fringe, and it’s a remarkable piece of work that will captivate anyone who chooses to see it.

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ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 124 days ago

This tense, claustrophobic presentation of a flight team’s final bombing run, set during the Second World War, captures the harrowing experience wonderfully. Thomas Dennis is fantastic as John, the sole presence on stage. Interacting only with the distant voices of his crew, he hangs from the set, alone in the...

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The List (3/5 stars) 129 days ago

One man show inspired by a WW2 bomber pilot....

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.