Following his appearance as Cyrano de Bergerac in 2009, Joseph Fiennes returns to Chichester Festival Theatre as Aircraftman Ross, otherwise known as one of the most famous names in history – Lawrence of Arabia.
Terence Rattigan’s ROSS is an epic and probing drama which explores the unusual and deeply conflicted Englishman behind the legend as he struggles to escape the horrors and ghosts that haunt him.
Cursed with guilt of his previous life and behaviour,the opening scene sees our leading character seeking anonymity by enlisting as a low-ranking member of the RAF under the name of Ross.
It is during a malaria-induced fever that he is returned to the 1916-1918 Arab Revolt against the Turks, and his dramatic wartime life is soon revealed to the audience.
Joseph Fiennes takes on a challenging role as he portrays the complex dimensions of the troubled man Ross/Lawrence. Once arrogant, flippant and bursting with self-confidence, we witness the fall of a great man as he crumbles under the realisation of his human limitations and after brutal treatment by the Turkish Army.
Adrian Noble, Former RSC Artistic Director, makes his Chichester Festival debut bringing the play to life with a stage that transforms the audience across the globe, from the vast desert stretching throughout the back and the Middle Eastern music, to the beautifully carved Egyptian pillars representing the presence of the British Army.
Although we may feel no closer to understanding the man behind the name, ROSS is an outstandingly powerful play not only providing us with the story of significant historical events, but opening our eyes to the merciless brutality inherent in war.
The production of ROSS is running until 25 June with tickets available from the Chichester Festival Box Office. Visit www.cft.org.uk for further information.