The Desert Air
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
Mrs Klein
Travelling Light
The Slaves of Solitude
Nicholas Wright: Five Plays
Thérèse Raquin
The Last of the Duchess
His Dark Materials
The Custom of the Country
Three Sisters
8 Hotels
The Reporter
John Gabriel Borkman
Vincent in Brixton
Rattigan's Nijinsky

Go to author page...

Similar Titles
A rich selection of work by leading playwright Nicholas Wright, introduced by the playwright.
A ferociously gripping story about the moral issues of contemporary military occupation and its effect on the mental...
An arresting and angry look at conflict and its effect on soldiers returning home.
A play that challenges our understanding of mythology, and forces us to ask vital questions about military occupation...
A miniature epic that explores the mad savagery of war with biting black comedy, and takes us into the dark heart of...
A compelling tale of murder, evil and betrayal set in occupied Iraq, part of the Arabian Nightmares trilogy....