The transfer of Chimerica to the Harold Pinter Theatre occurred with a deeply satisfying 'fusslessness' and professionalism from everyone involved. New actors have joined the family: Rosie Armstrong, Tina Chiang, Chris Hollinshead, Wendy Kweh, Math Sams, Kevin Shen and Liz Sutherland. Wendy and Liz took over Vera Chok’s and Sarah Lam’s roles when they started rehearsals at the National Theatre for The World of Extreme Happiness. Rosie, Tina, Chris, Math, and Kevin have joined us as understudies.
On Wednesday 19 June, a post show dicussion was held at the Almeida with members of the Chimerica cast. Elizabeth Chan, Vera Chok, Karl Collins, Trevor Cooper, David K. S. Tse and Sarah Lam stayed to discuss the play with assistant director Choon Ping. Discover their answers to the audience's questions about Chimerica.
On the very first day of rehearsals back in April 2013, the Chimerica company shared their initial responses to the Chimerica script. Find out what they thought ...
Explore Es Devlin's portfolio of design sketches for Chimerica.
Classroom exercises for students and teachers inspired by Chimerica.
The company reveal the photographs that have made the strongest impression on them.
Find out more about how China and America weigh up against each other.
Chimerica follows American photojournalist Joe as he tries to locate an unknown man in a photograph he took in Tiananmen Square more than 20 years ago. In the spirit of adventure, the Chimerica cast were asked what epic quest they would undertake if they knew it would succeed.
Week Three’s rehearsal diary should start with a brief panegyric to director Lyndsey Turner, the wizardess who is pulling together the million elements that make up Chimerica. There are a hundred moving parts (and with the rehearsal set built in the rehearsal room this week, there are literally moving parts; but I will refrain from spoilers). Twelve superb actors are playing more than thirty idiosyncratic characters, and each needs to be wigged, dressed, panted, shod, coached in accents, taught a new language, and choreographed into ugly fights and surreal movement.
A glimpse of what's happening in the Chimerica rehearsal room.
We continued Week 2 rehearsals with an exercise of actors listening to recordings of themselves speaking their lines, and allowing their bodies rather than just their minds to discover, in expressionistic space, the movements and grace notes of intention and emotion therein.
The first week of rehearsals began as it should have: with excitement and trepidation, both of which were to be quickly knocked into touch by getting down to good hard graft on Lucy Kirkwood’s brilliant text. But before that, we were introduced to the mighty cast of thousands that is the Almeida staff and the Headlong team. Michael Attenborough gave his last welcome speech as the Almeida's Artistic Director, expressing his passion for the play and his conviction that Chimerica is a story for our time. The play has been years in the making, and is finally ready for midwifery. Onwards and upwards!