The Desert Air
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Published in volume Nicholas Wright: Five Plays
First Staged:
Royal Shakespeare Company, 1985

The Desert Air

By Nicholas Wright
Published in volume Nicholas Wright: Five Plays

Cairo, 1942. Pompous and domineering Colonel Gore, known affectionately as 'The Hippo', is bending army rules: if he is found to be in command of three officers of the same rank as his own, he'll be promoted. All he needs is three newly minted Brigadiers, and he'll become General. However, the word is that the campaign to fight the Nazis in Yugoslavia has been overrun by a highly effective partisan group. The problem is that the British have been sending aid to General Mihailovic, who doesn't seem to be firing on all cylinders, and may even be colluding with the Nazis.

Nicholas Wright's wartime comedy The Desert Air was first staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Pit, London, in August 1985.

Press Quotes

'A bitter and hilarious tale of British hamfistedness and low cunning in the Second World War'

Sunday Times

'A brilliant comedy about the opportunism, dishonesty and sheer incompetence engendered by war'


Also by Nicholas Wright:

One Fine Day
8 Hotels
Travelling Light
Rattigan's Nijinsky
Nicholas Wright: Five Plays
The Last of the Duchess
Vincent in Brixton
His Dark Materials (stage version)
The Slaves of Solitude (stage version)
John Gabriel Borkman
Mrs Klein
Regeneration (stage version)
The Reporter
The Custom of the Country
Three Sisters (National Theatre version)
Thérèse Raquin (National Theatre version)

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