Winner, 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Winner, 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Play
Winner, 2013 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Play
Winner, 2014 Critics' Circle Best New Play Award
A powerful, provocative play about international relations and the shifting balance of power between East and West.
Tiananmen Square, 1989. As tanks roll through Beijing and soldiers hammer on his hotel door, Joe – a young American photojournalist – captures a piece of history.
New York, 2012. Joe is covering a presidential election, marred by debate over cheap labour and the outsourcing of American jobs to Chinese factories. When a cryptic message is left in a Beijing newspaper, Joe is driven to discover the truth behind the unknown hero he captured on film. Who was he? What happened to him? And could he still be alive?
A gripping political examination and an engaging personal drama, Chimerica examines the changing fortunes of two countries whose futures will shape the whole world.
Chimerica premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End.
"Gloriously rich, mind-expanding... if we see a better new play this year, we'll be extremely lucky." - Guardian
"Hurtles along with a mixture of humour, dramatic tension and terrific visual ingenuity... a hugely entertaining and at times deeply affecting play... I cannot recommend it too highly." - Telegraph
"A gripping, multilayered and meticulously researched thriller... like an expansive HBO mini-series expertly compacted into an evening at the theatre... Kirkwood's sharp, incisive dialogue is splendid." - Time Out
"A tremendously bold piece of writing... topical without being gimmicky and well-informed without being showily so... a landmark production." - Evening Standard
"Ambitious, sprawling, morally fascinating, as gripping as a good novel." - The Times
"A taut, complex and nuanced thriller with [an] exhilaratingly ambitious scope." - Exeunt Magazine
"Rich, riveting and theatrically ambitious... fizzing with wit and intelligent ideas... a work of real brilliance." - The Arts Desk
"Absolutely riveting... an important, far-reaching drama." - The Stage
"In terms of its scope and theme, Chimerica is the worthiest new mainstream play to come along in ages." - New York Times
Lucy Kirkwood’s first play Tinderbox premiered at the Bush Theatre in 2008. She has written plays for pioneering theatre companies Clean Break and Headlong, and venues including the Bush Theatre, Royal Court, Gate Theatre and National Theatre. Her play NSFW was nominated for a Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy.