What next for England’s hero? Lawrence after Arabia at Hampstead Theatre

Lawrence After Arabia

Hampstead Theatre is staging the première of Howard Brenton’s Lawrence After Arabia, commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt.

Directed by John Dove, the full cast features Sam Alexander, William Chubb, Geraldine James, Khalid Laith, Jack Laskey, Rosalind March and Jeff Rawle.

Jack Laskey (B&W) Close

Laskey makes his Hampstead Theatre debut playing the eponymous TE Lawrence.

Jack’s previous theatre credits include Sons Without Fathers (Arcola Theatre); I am the Wind, Sweet Nothings (Young Vic and European Tour); As You Like It (nominated for the Ian Charleson Award), A New World–A Life of Thomas Paine, Antony and Cleopatra (Shakespeare’s Globe);The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes, The Merchant of Venice, The Taming of The Shrew (RSC); Romeo and Juliet (Vienna’s English Theatre) and Masque of the Red Death(Punch Drunk).

His television and film credits include Endeavour, X Company, Hatfields & McCoys, Spilt Milk (Royal Television Society Award and also co- writer), A Royal Night Out, Secret Sharer and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Sam_Alexander© Michael Wharley Photography 2014Gerldine JamesKhalid_LaithRosalind_MarchJeff Rawle PIC

Set in August, 1922. The most famous man in England has vanished without a trace: TE 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?

Lawrence After Arabia plays on the Main Stage at Hampstead Theatre from April 28-June 4.

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