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Chimerica - casting announced

Almeida Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for Lyndsey Turner’s world premiere production of Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica, which runs at the Almeida Theatre from May 28 (previews from May 20) to July 6, 2013 (revised dates).

The line up includes Claudie Blakley (as Tessa), Stephen Campbell Moore (Joe), Elizabeth Chan (Zhang Shen), Vera Chok (Michelle Cheuk/Mary Wang), Karl Collins (David/Peter/Paul/Officer), Trevor Cooper (Frank), Nancy Crane (Martha/Doreen/Senator/Maria Dubieki/Mrs Krupke/Susannah Schofield), Sean Gilder (Mel Stanwyck), Sarah Lam (Feng Meihui/Old Ming Sheng), Andrew Leung (Young Lin/Benny), David K. S. Tse (Zhang Xhao/Pengfei) and Benedict Wong (Zhang Lin).

Previously Posted: In an Almeida and Headlong co-production, Lyndsey Turner will direct the world premiere of Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica, which runs at the Islington venue from May 23 (previews from May 17) to June 29, 2013.

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. In 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?

Lucy Kirkwood’s plays are The Small Hours, co–written with Ed Hime (Hampstead Theatre), Beauty and The Beast (National Theatre), Bloody Wimmin (Tricycle’s Women, Power and Politics season), It Felt Empty When the Heart Went at First But It is Alright Now (Clean Break Theatre Company at the Arcola), Guns or Butter (Union Theatre Terror Festival), Psychogeography and Tinderbox (Bush Theatre) an Grady Hot Potato (Bedlam Theatre).

Kirkwood also adapted Hedda Gabler for the Gate Theatre and written for C4’s Skins. Her play NSFW opens at the Royal Court later this month, directed by Simon Godwin.

This year, Lyndsey Turner’s Royal Court production of Posh completed its run in the West End in August, while her production of Philadelphia, Here I Come! ran at the Donmar Warehouse from July 26 to September 22. Her other productions for the Royal Court include Contractions, A Miracle and Our Private Life.

Turner is Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres where her work includes Alice and The Way of the World. Her credits elsewhere include Edgar And Annabel and There Is A War (National Theatre), Joseph K and Nocturnal (Gate Theatre), My Romantic History (Traverse, Bush and Sheffield Theatres) and The Lesson (Arcola Theatre).

Headlong returns to the Almeida Theatre following the critically acclaimed 2008 co-production of The Last Days of Judas Iscariot. The collaboration will continue in autumn 2013 with a new co-production – the world premiere of American Psycho, with book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and music and lyrics by Duncan Sheik, based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

American Psycho will be directed by Rupert Goold and produced in association with David Johnson and Jesse Singer at Act 4 Entertainment. Further details will be announced next spring when the show goes on sale.

For more information call the box office on 020 7359 4404 (10am – 7.30pm) or visit www.almeida.co.uk/.

The Dark Earth and the Light Sky runs at the Almeida from November 8, 2012 to January 12, 2013.