Lady Macbeth's William Oldroyd to direct new Channel 4 drama Chimerica

Lady Macbeth's William Oldroyd to direct new Channel 4 drama Chimerica

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Credit: DrRandomFactor/WikiCommons

Channel 4 has commissioned a new four-part drama based on Lucy Kirkwood’s Olivier Award-winning 2013 play, Chimerica.

The powerful new series is set against the run-up to the 2016 US Presidential election, focusing on the relationship between China and the US and several issues that affect society today.

An American photojournalist tries to discover the truth behind the iconic image that launched his career nearly 30 years previously.

The famous image is of a man facing down a tank in China’s Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. Years later, the journalist seeks out the Chinese man in the photo following accusations of fake news.

Several themes will be explored in the series, including the future of democracy, the battle between superpowers, fake news, the undermining of political protest, and our growing ease with the manipulation of fact and image.

Award-winning director William Oldroyd (Lady Macbeth) will make his television debut with Chimerica​, which will scrutinise the way we live now by exploring our slide into a post-truth world.

Writer of the original 2013 play, which also won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play, Lucy Kirkwood said: “The questions it raises have only acquired greater scale and relevance for us all.

It was thrilling for me to return to the story of two men…trying to work out how to respond to the outrages of an increasingly outrageous world and look through their eyes at out changing relationship with journalism, power, protest and images themselves.”

Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4 added: “It is such a privilege to have Lucy’s blisteringly brilliant voice on Channel 4. She picks away at the complexities of truth and friendship in a way that is utterly thought-provoking and compulsive.”

The updated TV adaptation of the original 2013 play comes from Howards End and Little Women producer, Playground Entertainment.

Casting details will be announced soon as filming is set to commence sometime in 2018.

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