Filmed in Dorset: Lawrence After Arabia
- Credit: lawrencethemovie.com/Mark J T Griffin
A film shot in Dorset about the final years of T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia is now on general release. Filmed during the summer of 2019, Lawrence: After Arabia has a largely local cast and crew supporting a stellar line-up that includes Brian Cox, Michael Maloney, Hugh Fraser, Nicole Ansari Cox and Tom Barber Duffy in the title role. It focuses on the events that led up to Lawrence’s fatal motorcycle accident near Bovington Camp on 13 May 1935. But was his death the result of a freak accident or a bodged assassination? The film examines facts around this commonly held conspiracy theory.
Lawrence: After Arabia, which won Best Feature at the Florence Film Awards and IndieFEST Film Awards, is the creation of writer-director Mark J.T. Griffin who came across the sculptor Eric Kennington’s life-size effigy of the national hero in Arab dress in St Martin’s Church in Wareham as a child. And this real life event is captured in the film.
The church, along with Lawrence's home Clouds Hill, now owned and run by the National Trust, and locations around Wareham and Bovington where Lawrence lived, as well as St Nicholas Church in the village of Moreton (Lawrence is buried in the churchyard), were used as locations in order to make the film as authentic as possible - setting the events leading up to Lawrence's death firmly in the Dorset countryside he loved so much.
Originally planned for release in April 2020, the pandemic has meant that Lawrence: After Arabia's release was put back until this month. It joins a long list of 'filmed in Dorset' movies including Netflix Rebecca, released last October and filmed at Mapperton House and Cranborne Manor. And Ammonite starring Kate Winslet as Mary Anning and filmed in and around Anning's home town of Lyme Regis.
This pretty Jurassic coast town has proved a popular film location for Hollywood as only last month Timothée Chalamet and Matt Lucas were filming Wonka there, a Willy Wonka prequel. Chalamet was seen striding along the town's famous Cobb harbour wall.
Screenings of Lawrence: After Arabia are at The Regent Centre, Christchurch (November 8); The Exchange, Sturminster Newton (November 9). More details about other screenings at lawrencethemovie.com