Feature: Kip Williams in China

Date posted: 20 Feb 2017Author: STC Production: Chimerica

Inspired by the iconic photo of a solitary man facing a line of tanks during the Tiananmen student protest in 1989, Lucy Kirkwood’s play Chimerica follows a fictionalised photographer, Joe Schofield, and his search for this ‘tank man’.

When our Artistic Director Kip Williams visited China last year, he sought out some of the places depicted in Chimerica - from the ancient palaces of Beijing to the colourful shopping districts of Shanghai - and he has shared his photo diary with us. 


Kip Williams in front of The Forbidden City
A very cold Kip stands in front of the entrance to the Forbidden City in Beijing.


The entrance to The Forbidden City
The entrance to the Forbidden City, seen from Tiananmen square.


The Forbidden City, Beijing
A view along the ancient moat in the Forbidden City.


Inside the Forbidden City
A spot of lunch inside the Forbidden City


Tienanmen Square
Photographers offer a memory of Tiananmen Square. The Monument to the People's Heroes, mentioned in Chimerica, can be seen in the background as well as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong.


A soldier inside The Forbidden City
A soldier stands to attention in the grounds of the Forbidden City.


Tiananmen Square
Tiananmen Square. A fire extinguisher is on hand to counter self-immoliation, an all-too-common form of protest for Tibetan independence. 

The National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing
The futuristic National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing by architect Paul Andreu, otherwise known as the ‘Giant Egg’.


Hutongs in Beijing
Parasols hanging in the narrow hutongs of Beijing.


The Great Wall of China
A stretch of the Great Wall of China, north of Beijing.


The view from The Great Wall of China
The view from the Great Wall of China.


A busy crosswalk in a central Shanghai shopping district.


Kip and a hazy Shanghai cityscape.


The Bund
The iconic skyline of The Bund in Shanghai by night.




The word Chimerica is a combination of the words ‘China’ and ‘America’ coined by academic historian Niall Ferguson and economist Moritz Schularick to signal the intertwined economies of those two countries.


Chimerica, 28 Feb – 1 Apr, Roslyn Packer Theatre

Seeing the show? Let us know your thoughts. Tag @sydneytheatreco and #STCChimerica