The top theatre companies in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are producing major plays of the Asian and Asian-Australian experience.
Currently, Sydney Theatre Company is producing CHIMERICA, the award-winning, political thriller inspired by one of the 20th century’s most powerful images.
Lead actor Anthony Brandon Wong says, “In all my 33 years as an actor in this country, I’ve never seen anything like it. I see it as part of a movement.”
In Brisbane, Michelle Law is producing the comedy Single Asian Female. In Melbourne, Lachlan Philpott has Little Emperors.
Chimerica plays at Roslyn Packer Theatre, Walsh Bay, thru April 1; $77-$105. For more information, visit: https://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/whats-on/productions/2017/chimerica
Kip Williams’ first production since being appointed Artistic Director of Sydney Theatre Company is the epic, geopolitical thriller, Chimerica by Lucy Kirkwood, featuring a cast of 32 at Roslyn Packer Theatre from 28 February. The cast for Chimerica includes Mark Leonard Winter (recipient of two 2016 Helpmann Awards for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor), Jason Chong (Netflix’ Marco Polo), Geraldine Hakewill (Seven’s Wanted), Charles Wu (Nine’s Doctor Doctor) and Brent Hill (Hayes’ Little Shop of Horrors). Former STC Resident Designers David Fleischer and Renée Mulder are responsible for set and costumes respectively. Lighting design is by Nick Schlieper, directly following his success on Broadway with STC’s The Present. At the centre of the Olivier award winning Chimerica is one of the 20th century’s most recognisable photographs – that of a lone man, shopping bags in hand, bravely attempting to block the path of a column of tanks as they roll through Tiananmen Square in 1989. It is an image that has come to symbolise brave, defiant protest, and yet the name of the figure – known simply as ‘Tank Man’ – has remained a mystery. When a cryptic message left in a newspaper points to the identity of this unknown hero, a photojournalist embarks on a quest to find the subject of the famous image he captured decades earlier. Who was the ‘Tank Man’? What happened to this hero? And could he still be alive?
Alongside 12 professional actors, Chimerica features 20 students from the National Institute of Dramatic Art’s Diploma of Musical Theatre course. This latest collaboration follows STC’s previous partnerships with NIDA for Gallipoli, directed by Nigel Jamieson, and The Lost Echo, directed by Barrie Kosky.
Chimerica premiered at London’s Almeida Theatre before transferring to the West End. Playwright Lucy Kirkwood has been described by The Independent as “the most rewarding dramatist of her generation”. Her other plays include The Children, NSFW, Like Rabbits, Hansel & Gretel, Beauty & The Beast; The Small Hours; Bloody Wimmin, Tinderbox and Hedda.