23 September New Play | The Man with the Gold by Jan Woolf

Jan Woolf's new play conjures the person of Lawrence from the grave, giving him the chance to address us directly and debunk the myth industry which conscripted his ghost so lucratively.

The Man With the Gold
      - by Jan Woolf

23 September 7.30pm
St John's College
St Giles, Oxford

Directed by Philip Wilson

Tickets Adults: £21.00 | Conc: £18.00
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"But how do you bomb a thing intangible, invulnerable without front or back, drifting about like a gas? Guerrilla tactics are a complete muffing of air force." - T. E Lawrence

A unique stage in the development of a new play about T.E Lawrence, includes post performance Q & A with the author.
Produced by Andrew Wright FRGS for the T.E Lawrence Society, who have generously supported the play.

"…as I worked with archaeologists in the Jordanian desert, scraping out objects, sifting sand, a play started to form in my mind." - Jan Woolf, author

"The play is terrific: witty, unusual, and timely and it's going to be very watchable. Bringing Lawrence to life through the preparation for an exhibition is a riveting device. You feel he is being dug out of the desert in front of you to rise up like a scrap of desert mist. A wraith with a message who blasts his way into the present to deliver it." - Heathcote Williams

Review by Alan Franks, Theatre 1

“Like the Brenton and Rattigan versions, Jan Woolf’s The Man With The Gold, uses techniques of split time, with the crucial difference that her chronology embraces the present day. This enables a kind of dialogue between then and now, from which the consequences of the past are all too starkly visible in the fractured map of the present.

Much of this present is located in a museum. A custodian of memory it may be, but even this task is not performed without a degree of internal warfare. The presentation of the experts’ exhibits is a matter of such importance that they cannot achieve it without much highly entertaining, bickering, flirting and general emotional trading. 

Woolf literally knows her territory as she was writer­in ­residence with the Great Arab Revolt Project (GARP), taking part in the excavation of blown­ up railway tracks, buttons from soldiers’ uniforms and cartridges from their guns.

On the evidence of a rehearsed reading at the Cockpit Theatre, directed by Philip Wilson (Grimm Tales, at the Southbank’s Bargehouse), it speaks with power and passion about, inevitably, betrayal; not just betrayal of one person by another, or one nation by another, but of principals by their holders. Most dramatically, it conjures the person of Lawrence from the grave, giving him the chance to address us directly and debunk the myth industry which conscripted his ghost so lucratively. This is not an opportunity he can resist. Gold indeed. - Alan Franks  

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