A highly atmospheric one-man show,
written and performed by Raymond Sargent

The Warrior and The Poet

Show format: Full Length: Act 1= 55 minutes. Act 2= 55 minutes

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"I saw The Warrior and The Poet last night and loved it. I thought you did justice to the spirit of T.E. Lawrence and to his complex nature and intellect - no mean feat in a relatively short and concentrated piece.
The energy, intensity and humour of your performance was a joy and a delight and I felt I was brought closer to T.E. Lawrence, whom I've admired and read for the past forty odd years".
Lynn Kelly, audience member at
The Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, Surrey.

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"I have just run across your website which gives me the opportunity for my wife and I to thank you for a marvellous performance on the 9th of May at Essex University - I was completely captivated, and fascinated - like most people, I had no idea that Lawrence had done so much since the First World War, or that he had such breadth.
Your performance was wonderful too, I had to remind myself several times that you weren't Lawrence, which was rather a disappointment because you raised so many questions that I would have liked to ask him. It was all made all the more remarkable by the small number of props that you used to support your portrayal".
Nick Tile, audience member at
The Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex, Colchester.

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It is March, 1923. The place; Bovington Camp in Dorset.
Six new recruits arrive to join the Tank Corps.
Private Shaw

Most of these men attract little interest, but there is something about one of them which begs many questions. He is older than the regulation age; years older. He is shorter than the regulation height and there is something 'of the officer' about him. Moreover, he gives the impression of suffering from mental strain. The man's name: Private Thomas Edward Shaw. Or is it?

One day he turns up at the camp with a large and powerful motorcycle, the cost of which, for a private soldier, represents two years' pay. the motor-cyclist

He becomes well liked by his fellows and is affectionately dubbed "Broughy Shaw", after the make of motorcycle with which he becomes synonymous.

Within three weeks of his arrival at the camp, the soldier makes the first of many visits to Max Gate, the Dorchester home of poet and novelist Thomas Hardy and his wife Florence. This event marks the beginning of an incredible friendship.

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the motor-cyclist

Colonel T.E. Lawrence (the man's real name) is best known for his work during the First World War when, in the Middle East, he united and led tribes of Beduin Arabs in revolt against their Turkish masters, a revolt which was of immense importance to Britain's war effort.

Lawrence's activities were quickly glorified by an up-and-coming American journalist-cum-orator, who toured the world with a highly sensational show. The images depicted in this popular extravaganza continue to influence the way in which Lawrence is perceived by a great many people.

"The Warrior and The Poet" explores the great man's life following his arrival at Bovington; the challenges he met in publishing his own account of the war and his ongoing battle with 'Post Traumatic Stress Disorder'; one of those baffling new ailments which emerged from the "Great War".

Add to this the unpredictable and frequently unwelcome side effects of "celebrity status", and a complex and troubled character presents itself. A character which, nonetheless, was generous to friends, was instrumental in the development of military rescue equipment, and who fought hard for fair-play and recognition for those who had given much, yet who otherwise would have been all but forgotten.

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Lawrence of Arabia

"The Warrior and The Poet"

A One-man dramatisation of the Last Years of
Lawrence of Arabia

"The Warrior and The Poet" is a highly atmospheric one-man dramatisation of the last years of "Lawrence of Arabia". The years of action and adventure in the Middle East during the First World War are now over and so, with evocative original music and authentic sounds, the real man behind the popular image presents himself and takes you through his later challenges and achievements, right from his arrival at Bovington Camp in Dorset in 1923, until his untimely death almost at the same location in 1935.

Prepare yourself to visit such exotic locations as a fort at the edge of Afghanistan, as well as events such as the Schneider Trophy Race and a near-farcical press-dodging dash from Plymouth to London!

Despite occasionally revealing his most bleak and vulnerable side, Lawrence's sense of fun and humour constantly bubbles through, and he takes full advantage of a live audience for a few digs at the popular press, a bit of banter AND, he might just ask you to wave a banner, help him fix a motor-boat or even finish writing a book!

Reviews (most recent first):
Raymond Sargent is mesmerising as the charismatic Lawrence while also playing - with great conviction - every other character from a fellow soldier to Thomas Hardy. With minimal props and sound effects, Raymond called upon pure talent to inform and entertain with a stunning portrayal of the enigma that was Lawrence of Arabia.
The Wimborne Magazine
Excellent music and additional recordings added to the atmosphere which induced goosebumps at the end, with Lawrence's death in 1935. Sargent held an almost empty stage for almost two hours, deftly showing a different side to Lawrence; 'a man of letters, and not a man of action'.
The Wyvern (Magazine of the University of Essex, Colchester)
Dorset-based actor Ray Sargent pulls off a brilliant coup in this one-man dramatised performance. With atmospheric lighting, music and a few props, the actor brings to life not only T. E. Lawrence himself, but other notables of the day such as Thomas Hardy, E. M. Forster and Bernard Shaw - not to mention a host of other characters who crowd the stage in the person of one man modestly dressed in shirtsleeves. Immaculately researched and riveting in its dramatic tension, this performance brings to life the complex nature of Lawrence; a man whose early and action packed career brought him international fame but whose later life, in the hands of Ray Sargent, is every bit as exciting and eventful.
The Dorset Echo
Raymond Sargent's dramatisation of the last years of Lawrence of Arabia provides a stunning insight of a legend: his energetic performance leaves you enriched.
The Eastern Daily Press
Raymond Sargent is someone it's very hard not to admire. As well as single-handedly performing this 100-minute tale of the last years of Lawrence of Arabia, he also wrote it. A regular and welcome visitor to the Customs House, Sargent keeps the punter's attention glued to the stage. His excellent acting, accents, moves, mannerisms and intonations means he is able to make you believe you are actually ear-wigging conversations between numerous people. His stage presence is absolutely brilliant and his tremendous performance fully deserved the animated response from the enthusiastic audience.
The Shields Gazette (Tyne & Wear)
There are many parts for Sargent to play including Lawrence's friends; Thomas Hardy and E.M. Forster, as well as Lowell Thomas, the American journalist who made him famous. With the current situation in the Middle East, interest in Lawrence is on the up and this show offers something for anyone who wants to know more.
The Stroud News & Journal
Few words could better describe Raymond Sargent than 'human dynamo'. The Dorset actor and dramatist took his audience on a whirlwind tour of India, London, Dorset, Hampshire and many other locations, to chart the later life of "Lawrence of Arabia". Events were woven seamlessly together: among the most poignant are his letter to Thomas Hardy telling him what it is like to fly, his selling of his dagger to pay for repairs at his cottage, Clouds Hill, his learning of Hardy's death whilst listening to the music of Beethoven and his hearing of a bird tapping on his window pane being interpreted as a portent of death. Sargent employs a vast range of voices, facial expressions and body language to portray the myriad characters, music and sound effects to convey atmosphere and a conversational style to draw in his audience. His research has been meticulous: this is a great work and Sargent's remarkable stage presence deserves to be enjoyed in a variety of venues.
The Salisbury Journal

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To see reviews on Ray's other one-man show, "Two Victorian Tales", click here.

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank the following for their kind contributions towards the production of "The Warrior and The Poet":

Norrie Woodhall of The New Hardy Players, for bringing the period of this story to life by sharing with me the memories of her encounters with T.E. Lawrence, to whom she was introduced by Thomas Hardy in 1924.

Forest Paget and Solomon Associates, Damerham, Hants: for generous provision of rehearsal space.

Eddie and Sallianne Colton: for sourcing and making the props.

Steve Limburn: for the loan of the R.A.F. cap and the typewriter.

Members of Wimborne Drama, Wimborne, Dorset: for provision of all the background character voices.

Jim Price and PVA Medialab, Bridport, Dorset: for engineering and software support in creating the original music.

Liz Radford and Notepad Music Productions, Bournemouth: for composing the "silent movie" and "newsreel" music.

Gavin Courtie and Notepad Music Productions, Bournemouth: for sourcing the sound effects, and for engineering the sound plot.

Members of the Brough Superior Club, for provision of the motorcycle for photographs, and for an exciting Spring evening recording the motorcycle sounds!

The Flyers for every performance of "The Warrior and The Poet" are printed
by courtesy of....

Allsorts UK, Wimborne, Dorset
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