Ai Weiwei play to be live streamed online for free

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Howard Brenton’s new play about Chinese artist and political dissident Ai Weiwei will be streamed live on the internet for free later this month.

Called #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei, the show is running at the Hampstead Theatre in London and will be streamed on April 19 from 7.30pm via the venue’s website.

The show, which is directed by James Macdonald, runs from today until May 18.

Benedict Wong will play Ai Weiwei and other cast members include Christopher Goh, Junix Inocian, Andrew Koji, Orion Lee, David Lee-Jones, Andrew Leung, Richard Rees and David Tse.

Design is by Ashley Martin Davis,
with lighting by Matthew Richardson and sound by Emma Laxton. Choreography is by Scott Ambler.

Weiwei said: “China is a society that forbids any flow of the information and freedom of speech. This is on record, so everybody should know this. I am delighted that #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei will be live-streamed to the world.”

He added: “I would really like to be there on opening night but unfortunately my passport still hasn’t been returned to me. Good luck to all involved.”

Brenton said: “On behalf of the company, we are very excited that #aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei will be live-streamed for all to see.

“The play tells of one person's terrifying, at times bizarre experience caught in a mad maze. It's a story that's a warning to us all about what happens when freedom of expression goes and a government forces its people to live a lie. The internet's still free though and I hope people tune in to enjoy this live event.”