A Play About Ai Weiwei
A play is being shown for free online this week stage. The Howard Brenton's play is called #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei and it was originally staged in 2013 at the Hampstead Theatre.
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.
The play is available to watch on demand from this Monday April 27th until Sun May 3rd. More details available below.