Terence Rattigan’s epic and probing drama about the man immortalised as Lawrence of Arabia.
Arrogant, flippant, withdrawn and with a talent for self-concealment, the mysterious Aircraftman Ross seems an odd recruit for the Royal Air Force. In fact the truth is even stranger than the man himself.
Behind the false name is an enigma, a man named Lawrence who started as a civilian in the Map Office in 1914 and went on to mastermind some of the most audacious military victories in the history of the British Army. These victories earned him an enduring and romantic nom de guerre: Lawrence of Arabia.
Rattigan’s 1960 play reveals the unusual and deeply conflicted Englishman behind the heroic legend. This edition, with an Introduction by Dan Rebellato, was published alongside the revival at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2016, directed by Adrian Noble and starring Joseph Fiennes as Ross.
‘A brilliant story… I cannot see how anyone could fail to be moved’
— The Times
‘Serves as an unsentimental precis of [T.E. Lawrence’s] derring-do, acts as a timely reminder of the difficulties and possibilities of Anglo-Arab understanding, and explores with unflinching insight the demons that drove Lawrence (not to mention the curse of celebrity)… essential viewing’
— The Stage
‘Reveals Rattigan’s unparalleled ability to suggest suppressed emotion’