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Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica to be four-part Channel 4 drama

Benedict Wong (Zhang Lin) in the stage play of Chimerica, soon to be a TV series. Photo: Es Devlin

Lucy Kirkwood is adapting her Olivier award-winning stage play Chimerica [1] into a four-part Channel 4 drama.

The series will update the 2013 play and will be set in the run up to the 2016 US presidential election.

Channel 4 said the series, directed by William Oldroyd, will reflect “the giddying political changes of the last two years”. It added that it will “bring into even sharper focus vital issues such as fake news, the undermining of political protest, the battle between present and future superpowers, the future of democracy, and our growing ease with the manipulation of fact and image”.

Kirkwood said: “Since I wrote the play in 2013, the questions it raises have only acquired greater scale and relevance. It was thrilling for me to return to the story of two men, one American and one Chinese, trying to work out how to respond to the outrages of an increasingly outrageous world. As well as to look through their eyes at our changing relationship with journalism, power, protest, and images.”

She added: “I feel especially lucky to have William at the helm. I am very excited to have the chance to collaborate with him on this epic, international story.”

The series is produced by Playground, which was behind the TV adaptation of Wolf Hall. Colin Callender and Kirkwood are executive producers.

A broadcast date for Chimerica has yet to be confirmed.