Haha, you must give David Hare credit! One of the few writers to seamlessly balance a piece both as a historical document and as a dramatic work through which his own aesthetic must permeate. Disbelievers will say he lays a bit too much weight on the historical document side, as Fanshen seems at times to be a shopping list of what some people did remotely in China a couple years back. Hare keeps is starkly relevant and current, not because it has lots of cultural references to iPods or youtube like so many masquerading "contemporary" plays do, but because he writes of the lifeblood and efforts of real people, still alive at the time he was writing. People who didn't just win one particular soccer game, or design an interesting android app, but who acted in violence and defense to seize a medieval China and bring it gasping and bleeding into the modern world. Their passion and Hares are felt.
Where people would argue that he keeps to studied a distance, I would argue Hare is painfully close to his subjects. He doesn't write of China, or the government, or of communism in general, but of one town's specific understanding of it and transformative assimilation of it. Just as democracy wasn't a fixed idea to the French or the Americans, Fanshen and communism are something new, questionable, and malleable to these men and women. They grapple to find its definition, as Aeschylus' Athena and Orestes do for the word justice; that, to me, is the most modern and relevant a piece of theater can get.