A couple of years ago in London, I saw the play #aiww The Arrest of Ai Weiweiby, by Howard Brenton, at the Hampstead Theatre.
The play is about the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who was arrested by the Chinese authorities at Beijing airport on April 3rd, 2011 as he was about to board a flight to Taipei. Ai Weiwei spent 81 days in detention without trial. He was accused of being a subversive, a conman and a pervert, who “could damage state security.”
Edward Hall the artistic director of Hampstead Theatre explains his choice of this special topic in the program notes: ”We had been looking for a play about China since starting in Hampstead and knew that it was a subject that Howard Brenton was keen to explore. The rise of China is clearly one of the most important developments of modern times but it has hardly been discussed.”
The arrest and the disappearance, without trial, of the artist reveals a lot about oppression in China today, and potentially could have brought about an exciting and critical play about its development.
Please keep reading in the Times of Israel