Chimerica, playing at the Harold Pinter theatre (Photo: Es Devlin)
Chimerica, playing at the Harold Pinter theatre (Photo: Es Devlin)

Chimerica crowned Olivier Best Play

Published April 13, 2014

Chimerica, Lucy Kirkwood’s hugely successful epic, has taken home the coveted American Airlines Best New Play Award at this year’s Olivier Awards with MasterCard.

Triumphing in a hotly contended category that also included 1984, The Night Alive and Peter And Alice, tonight’s win makes it an awards hat-trick for the young playwright, with Chimerica already having succeeded in parallel categories at the Critics Circle and Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Co-produced by the Almeida Theatre and innovative theatre company Headlong, Chimera was directed by Lyndsey Turner and featured a cast including Stephen Campbell-Moore, Benedict Wong and Claudie Blakley.

The incredibly ambitious political tale told the story of a photojournalist obsessed with an image he had taken during the Tiananmen Square protests. Spanning continents and decades, audiences were taken on a compelling, mysterious journey in Turner’s filmic production.

The production, which featured a scene-stealing set by Es Devlin, first played at the Almeida Theatre before transferring into the West End following rave reviews.

Writing about its transfer run, Official London Theatre’s Matthew Amer paid tribute to Kirkwood’s script, saying: “If Chimerica was a television series, it would be talked about in the same breath as Homeland, so taut and intelligent is the writing,” adding: “The inventiveness with which the production has been realised… makes the show one of the most exciting productions currently playing in London.”