HAMPSTEAD THEATRE AT HOME: A HAMPSTEAD THEATRE PRODUCTION FROM 2013
#AIWW: THE ARREST OF AI WEIWEI
By HOWARD BRENTON, BASED ON AI WEIWEI'S ACCOUNT IN BARNABY MARTIN'S BOOK 'HANGING MAN'
Directed by JAMES MACDONALD
Running time: 2 hours
FREE (See ticket information)
But what crimes, what? What crimes? Why won't you say exactly what the crimes are? Admit what? What? What?
HAMPSTEAD THEATRE AT HOME
27 Apr - 3 May 2020
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
Originally performed and live streamed in 2013, this unique recording of #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei returned as part of the Hampstead Theatre At Home series. Thank you to the whole company for kindly allowing us to share this incredible play again. #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei was available to watch on demand from Monday 27 April until Sunday 3 May. Find out more.
★★★★ The Times | ★★★★ The Telegraph | ★★★★ The Guardian | ★★★★ The Independent | ★★★★ Financial Times | ★★★★ Metro | ★★★★ Time Out
On 3 April 2011, as he was boarding a flight to Taipei, the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Airport. Advised merely that his travel “could damage state security”, he was escorted to a van by officials after which he disappeared for 81 days. On his release, the government claimed that his imprisonment related to tax evasion.
Howard Brenton’s play is based on conversations with Ai in which he told the story of that imprisonment – by turns surreal, hilarious, and terrifying. A portrait of the Artist in extreme conditions, it is also an affirmation of the centrality of Art and of freedom of speech in civilised society.
Directed by James Macdonald (who also directed Hampstead Theatre At Home production Wild) and starring Benedict Wong as Ai Weiwei (Doctor Strange, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Black Mirror, The Martian).
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2ND POLICEMAN/2ND SOLDIER
1ST POLICEMAN/1ST SOLDIER
THIN YOUNG MAN
Demi Jo Franks
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Michael Coveney, The Independent
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Dominic Maxwell, The Times
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Michael Billington, The Guardian
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage.com
Taken by Iain Lanyon
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Robert Shore, Metro
#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei review By Charles Spencer, The Telegraph
Sowing the seeds of change?
Taken by Stephen Cummisky
Ai Weiwei play to go global on web… but risks block by China By Louise Jury, The Evening Standard
They all ask: Why?
From Beijing’s Olympic Stadium, the ‘Bird’s Nest’, to millions of ceramic Sunflower Seeds in the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, Ai Weiwei’s Art is incredibly powerful and poignant.
Howard Brenton: My play is dangerous for Ai WeiweiThe Telegraph published 3 April By Tom Wicker
‘We are here to let people know what a bad man you are’The Sunday Times published 31 March By Leo Lewis
On 3 April 2011, as he was boarding a flight to Taipei, the Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Airport.
Ai Weiwei: I think the most important medium of our time is Twitter (Never Sorry, 2012)
A Hampstead Theatre Production/World Premiere