Chimerica is a play which is dedicated and speaks about the complicated relationship between China and America. The play was premiered in 2013, by the British dramatist Lucy Kirkwood. It is based on modern geopolitics of China and America. Directed by Lyndsey Turner, it was first premiered in London at Almeida Theatre. The play was welcomed by many theatre fanatics and also won the Oliver Award and Evening Star Awards for the best play and many more categories. Although the play never made it onto the Broadway show schedule, the premier in London nevertheless was well received and Chimerica won many awards.
The story is based on the events that took place in the late ’90s. In 1989, Chinese tanks rolled through the Tiananmen Square, crushing all the student’s posters’ which pled the cry for democracy. Among the crowd was Joe, a photojournalist from America, who happened to capture the entire scene, which symbolizes the struggle of the Americans. He also filmed and photographed the images of unarmed civilians, who held plastic bags and stood boldly in front of the tanks.
Over twenty years hence, Joe set out to identify the Tank Man and enquired about his whereabouts post the incident, after a mysterious note published in the Beijing newspaper. On the other side, Zhang Lin, who was Joe’s ally situated in China, was outraged by the death of a 59-year-old, due to air pollution in Beijing. The country’s fortune changed post the 2012 American elections.
About the play
Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica was premiered at Almeida Theatre in London, England under the production of Headlong on May 20th, 2013. The play was disported against the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End from August 6-October 19, 2013. The play is centered on the 2012 American elections and how the fate of two countries changed after the incident.
Apart from London, the play was showed in various other countries and was equally welcomed by citizens from around the world.
In September 2015, the United States witnessed its first performance of Chimerica, at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C and directed by David Muse.
Directed by Chris Abraham, the play was first performed in Canada in 2016 and was premiered at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. The same production was co-produced later by Toronto’s Canadian Stage and the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. From March to mid-April, the entire production house travelled to Toronto and put up a show there. Later in the same year, the production, under the direction of Nick Bowling, played in Chicago at TimeLine Theatre.
The play also performed in Australia in March of 2017, under the direction of Kip Williams at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.
Although the play gained appreciation from the critics and other theatre fanatics, it still received criticism from the audience for the duration. A whole three-hour play irritated some of the audience worldwide. Despite all odds, the play was titled as “fluent and seductive” and even described as a filmic quality. Some critics mentioned that the play handled the screen changes well and was also subjected to various awards for their screenplay, acting and dialogues.