Hampstead Theatre will present Lawrence After Arabia from 28 April – 4 June 2016. Commissioned to mark the centenary of the Arab revolt, this new play by Howard Brenton will be directed by John Dove. 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 … Read more
The first fifteen minutes or so of Act Two are as good as, if not the equal of, any fifteen minutes of any musical currently playing on the West End (the final fifteen minutes of both of Gypsy’s acts excluded). In the main, this is down to three things: superb orchestrations (Chris Walker), fantastic musicianship (Theo Jamieson, Joe Stilgoe and a red hot band) and inspired, creative choreography (Nathan M Wright). Together, these three magical elements work musical theatre alchemy, and the cast go along with it infectiously, without restraint.