A timely play based on the true story of a Nobel Laureate. 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 recent 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.
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