Howard Brenton’s Lawrence After Arabia is a biographical play exploring the later years in the life of T.E. Lawrence, once celebrated as Lawrence of Arabia. It was commissioned to mark the centenary of the start of the Arab revolt, and was first performed at Hampstead Theatre, London, on 28 April 2016.
The play's action, according to an author's note in the script, 'takes place at Shaw’s Corner, the home of George Bernard and Charlotte Shaw, in the Hertfordshire village of Ayot St Lawrence, in August 1922 and February 1923, and in the head of T.E. Lawrence'. Wearied by his romanticised persona and worldwide fame, disgusted with his country and himself, Lawrence has disappeared from public life. Craving normality, he has retreated to the idyllic calm of Ayot St Lawrence, where he occupies lodgings on the top floor of the home of Mr and Mrs Bernard Shaw. But England wants its hero back, and Lawrence finds himself trapped in his love/hate relationship with the limelight, tormented by ghosts and haunted by broken promises.
The Hampstead Theatre premiere was directed by John Dove and designed by Michael Taylor. The cast was Sam Alexander, William Chubb, Geraldine James (as Charlotte Shaw), Khalid Laith, Jack Laskey (as T.E. Lawrence), Rosalind March and Jeff Rawle as George Bernard Shaw.