Chimerica

I made my mainstage debut with the highly acclaimed Sydney Theatre Company’s extravaganza ‘Chimerica.’ A term coined by historian Niall Ferguson and economist Moritz Schularick describing the symbiotic relationship between China and America. The play written by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood, made its Australian premiere on the Roslyn Packer Theatre stage to standing ovations and rave reviews.

As tanks roll through Tiananmen Square, a young man holding shopping bags walks out to block their path. In a hotel a few hundred metres away, a young American photojournalist trains his lens on the scene and captures a piece of history.

It is an image that has come to symbolise courageous and defiant protest, and yet the name of the hero – known simply as Tank Man – has remained a mystery. Twenty years later, a cryptic message is left in a Beijing newspaper that gives a clue to that hero’s identity. Who was the man in front of the tanks? What happened to him? And could he still be alive?

Inspired by one of the 20th century’s most powerful images, ‘Chimerica’ tracks two decades of complex US-China relations alongside the personal stories that exist beyond the margins of history. At once intimate and geopolitical, it is a gripping thriller, a touching romance, a cracking comedy and a rich drama.

Directed by Kip Williams. A Sydney Theatre Company production.

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