OLIVIERS 2014: Reflections - Best New Play
Oh-so-justly, Chimerica has scooped up a handful of Olivier Awards, including the highly coveted award for Best New Play.
Produced in conjunction with Headlong and originally playing at the Almeida (before a successful transfer to the Harold Pinter Theatre), Lucy Kirkwood's intelligent, moving drama tells of the "tank man" from the historic image of 1976 Tianenmen Square. Though fictitious, this story's reminder of a harrowingly true past and a perhaps disturbing present make it tense and agitative. You have to admire the scope of this piece, as well - it spans continents and sparks witticisms about globally important economic affairs, yet maintains a human level through its essentially tragic and human story.
Featuring over forty scene changes, Chimerica also utilised an outstanding set, with Es Devlin taking home the Olivier Award for Best Set Design. Carolyn Downing was also justly rewarded for her intensely atmospheric sound design, completing Chimerica's trio of Olivier successes. The last two awards were shared wins, with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Merrily We Roll Along respectively.
Through this play's successful execution, Kirkwood - despite her youthful years - has sealed her reputation as a very gifted dramatist. My congratulations to her and Chimerica's extremely talented cast and creative team.