The City and the City

Photo Credit:  Upintheair Theatre



Upintheair Theatre and The Only Animal present
The City and The City

Adapted by Jason Patrick Rothery from the novel by China Miéville
Presented with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival

Upintheair Theatre and The Only Animal premieres an interactive reimagining of the award-winning noir/speculative fiction mystery, The City and The City, as part of the 2017 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, at the Russian Hall from January 26 to February 5, 2017.


On entering the theatre, you become an actor in a dystopian thriller guided by a voice in your head—your job is to discover who you are and the mystery of the world you inhabit. Radical in its approach to participation, The City and The City employs infrared audio technology to deliver a mix of directions and dialogue, propelling you through an investigation where your guilt or innocence cannot be assumed. Where do you belong? Who can you trust? Can you unsee what you have seen?

Previews: January 24-25, 8PM; Media Opening: January 26, 8PM; January 27-29, January 31-February 2, 4 and 5, 8PM, February 3, 7PM; Matinees: January 29, February 4 & 5, 2PM
Russian Hall, 600 Campbell Avenue, Vancouver
Tickets: $28/$23 (regular/self-identified low income), previews: $14
Available at or 604.449.6000
Eligible for the PuSh Pass and Youth Pass  |


Four years in the making, The City and The City, creates a world that is both deeply familiar and eerily off kilter. From the outset, the production questions personal, political, and societal realities with a crime that reveals a complex network of control and corruption—highlighting contemporary tensions between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots,’ using the motif of a city within a city.

Set in a fictional and futuristic divided city in Eastern Europe, The City and The City, tracks Inspector Tyador Borlú of the Extreme Crime Squad as he investigates a seemingly straightforward murder. What he discovers is a complicated network of government interference, and a cover up that will shake two intertwined city-states to their cores.

China Miéville is an acclaimed British author and academic. His work is ascribed to the New Weird group of writers who take inspiration from elaborate real-world models with distinctly urban settings and imbue the stories with fantasy elements. Miéville is the recipient of three Arthur C. Clarke Awards for Science Fiction Literature and two British Fantasy Awards. His latest novella, The Census-Taker was published this year, and his other novels include Embassytown (2011), and Perdido Street Station (2000).

Playwright Jason Patrick Rothery’s most recent work produced in Vancouver was Inside The Seed, winner of the 2014 Jessie Award for Outstanding Original Script.

Adapted from the novel by China Miéville Audio from a conceptual seed from Darren Boquist Director Kendra Fanconi Playwright Jason Patrick Rothery Stage Manager Stephanie Elgersma Sound Designer Nancy Tam Lighting Designer Jonathan Kim Movement Director Nita Bowerman Additional Design Contributors Florence Barrett, Emma Hendrix, Jerguš Opršal Creative and Dramaturgical Support by Brian Quirt, Playwrights Colony at Banff Centre for the Arts


Under the leadership of Daniel Martin and David Mott, Upintheair Theatre has been producing original and provocative theatre in Vancouver since 2000. The company’s last production, The North Plan (2016), won three Jessie Awards including Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Production of a Play, and Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role, all in the Small Theatre category. Inside The Seed (2013) received five Jessie Award nominations and won for Outstanding Direction (Small Theatre) and Best New Script. Each May, the company presents the rEvolver Theatre Festival showcasing contemporary performance work by emerging and early mid career artists.


The Only Animal creates theatre with a deep engagement of place. Recent productions: a site-specific adaptation of Paul Harding’s Tinkers (2016); Nothing But Sky (2014), a living comic book biography of Superman’s immigrant creators; and NiX, theatre of snow and ice for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The Only Animal has been nominated for over thirty Jessie Awards, winning eight including awards for Best Production and Significant Artistic Achievement. In addition, the company has received a Dora Award as well as four nominations.


City of Vancouver | BC Arts Council | BC Direct Access Gaming | Canada Council for the Arts | The Hamber Foundation | The Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation




Editor in Chief of Fabulously Frugal in Vancouver.

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