Chimerica*** (Almeida, 27 May 2013)

Posted: May 27, 2013 in Theatre

photo-110Centring on an American photographer who was present at the Tainanmen Square massacre of 1989, this play charts how China and America have developed from then to the present day and examines the relationship between the two countries. Lucy Kirkwood’s writing is uneven, blurring the lines between fact and fiction, and, at just over three hours, it badly needs pruning. At times the dialogue is sharp and witty, at other times it is bland and awkward. When focussing on the main theme, which illustrates the power and shortcomings of photo-journalism, the play is absorbing, but too many irrelevant narrative strands lessen the overall impact. Notwithstanding these failings, it is still an interesting piece and the production is raised to a higher level by simply superb staging.

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