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By Lucy Kirkwood
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848423503, 136 pages, August 2013


A powerful, provocative play about international relations and the shifting balance of power between East and West. Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play (2014), the Evening Standard Best Play Award (2013), the Critics' Circle Best New Play Award (2014), and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

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.

Lucy Kirkwood's play Chimerica was first performed at the Almeida Theatre, London, in 2013 before transferring to the Harold Pinter Theatre in the West End.


'A taut, complex and nuanced thriller with [an] exhilaratingly ambitious scope'

- Exeunt Magazine

'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 tremendously bold piece of writing... topical without being gimmicky and well-informed without being showily so... a landmark production'

- Evening Standard

'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

'Rich, riveting and theatrically ambitious... fizzing with wit and intelligent ideas... a work of real brilliance'

- The Arts Desk

'Gloriously rich, mind-expanding... if we see a better new play this year, we'll be extremely lucky'

- Guardian

'Ambitious, sprawling, morally fascinating, as gripping as a good novel'

- The Times