Back Lawrence After Arabia
28 April – 4 June
By Howard Brenton
Directed by John Dove
Hampstead Theatre presents the world premiere of Howard Brenton’s Lawrence after Arabia, commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt.
August, 1922. The most famous man in England has vanished without a trace: T.E. Lawrence has completely disappeared. But in the idyllic calm of the village of Ayot St Lawrence, on the top floor of the home of Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw, the ‘uncrowned King of Arabia’ is hiding – with slabs of homemade carrot cake for comfort.
Wearied by his romanticised persona and worldwide fame, disgusted with his country and himself, Lawrence is craving normality. But when you’re a brilliant archaeologist, scholar, linguist, writer and diplomat – as well as a legendary desert warrior – how can you ever be normal? And beyond the Shaws’ garden wall, nobody cares how he feels: England just wants its hero back. Can he ever return?