Lawrence in Lahore: Staging the true character of TE Lawrence


To expose the conspiratorial role of British military officer and spy Thomas Edward Lawrence, Ajoka Theatre staged a play, ‘Lawrence in Lahore’, at the Quaid-e-Azam Library in Lahore on April 17.

The play, written and directed by Shahid Nadeem, revolved around T.E. Lawrence’s mysterious role when he was posted in Karachi after he played a crucial role in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and creation of Saudi Arabia and other modern Arab states like Iraq and Jordan.

A large crowd gathered to watch the one-of-a-kind themed theatre performance. “The aim was to highlight the conspiracies that brewed on our land,” said Shahid Nadeem.

T.E. Lawrence, a character immortalised in the film Lawrence of Arabia, played a significant role in the fragmentation of the Middle East following World War I. “His subversive activities in the subcontinent have remained largely unknown. Through meticulous research, we have uncovered some of the hidden aspects and presented them in the form of a play,” said Nadeem.

Sameer Ahmed, who enacted the lead role of Lawrence, said that while history has often presented Lawrence as a hero, the reality is quite the opposite. “The play looks at the other side of Lawrence’s personality and what he was actually up to.”

The audience responded positively to the play. “The audience showed great interest throughout the performance, which is evident from the large turnout, even on a weekday.”

Encouraged by the public interest and favourable reception, the organisers said they intend to showcase it on a larger scale soon.