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Arrogant, flippant, withdrawn and with a talent for self-concealment, the mysterious Aircraftman Ross seems an odd recruit for the Royal Air Force.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.
Sir Terence Rattigan was one of the most popular English 20th-century dramatists. His first play, First Episode, was produced in 1934; his best-known later works include After the Dance, Flare Path, The Browning Version and The Deep Blue Sea. Many of his plays have been adapted for film, and are frequently revived. He also served as an RAF tail gunner in WWII.
'A brilliant story. I cannot see how anyone could fail to be moved'
'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'
'Reveals Rattigan's unparalleled ability to suggest suppressed emotion'