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Chimerica at the Almeida

July 9, 2013

I loved “Posh” directed by Lyndsey Turner and I hated “NSFW” written by Lucy Kirkwood. CHIMERICA at the Almeida was witten by Lucy Kirkwood and was directed by Lyndsey Turner. My first introduction to the word CHIMERICA is this play although I now discover it has been used for a while to describe the emerging dominant economic and cultural force of China and America. The swinging of the pendulum from the US dominated Atlantic West to the Chinese dominated Pacific East.

The Chimera was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female and male creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of three animals — a lion, a snake and a goat. The term chimera has come to describe any mythical or fictional animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible. And that about sums up this play for me. It is full of very interesting elements from the director such as the spinning cube set which serves the fast inter-cutting of scenes back and forth between America and China very well, but particularly the first act is dreary exposition with very little real drama. I was yawning through it and holding back my tears of boredom. Far too may phone calls which are always the sign of a cheap studio bound movie script without the budget for location.

It is a really interesting topic, there are some excellent performances within the limits of the text and very interesting conceptual realisation. I can imagine if this subject is knew to you that you might feel like you have learned something. Personally I enjoyed the directors vision but hated the writers script.

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