Twenty years after graduation, six former students return to
their university college for a reunion dinner. Whilst their lives may
have had varying degrees of success, all are connected by a common
past. Once locked in college for the night, the graduates begin to
relive their youth, and old friendships, feuds - and the much-desired
but absurdly proper Master's wife - come tumbling back into the present
. . .
'The show reaches that plateau of comic bliss when it becomes physically impossible to stop laughing' Daily Telegraph
'The West End's summer gets off to an exhilarating start with
the hilarious return of Michael Frayn's comedy Donkeys' Years' Sunday
'All the confidence of a serious comic masterpiece.
Masterclass performances. This is one of the best revivals in the West
End for years. Unmissable!' Sunday Times
Noises Off won both the Evening Standard and the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy when it was first produced, and ran in the West End for nearly five years. Michael Frayn's most recent play, Copenhagen, won both the Evening Standard Best Play Award in London and the Tony Best Play Award in New York.
In Democracy, Michael Frayn once again creates out of the known events of twentieth-century history a drama of extraordinary urgency and subtlety, reimagining the interactions and motivations of Willy Brandt as he became chancellor of West Germany in 1966 and those of his political circle, including Günter Guillaume, a functionary who became Brandt's personal assistant-and who was eventually exposed as an East German spy in a discovery that helped force Brandt from office. But what circumstances allowed Brandt to become the first left-wing chancellor in forty years? And why, given his progressive policies, did the East German secret police feel it necessary to plant a spy in his office and risk bringing down his government?
Michael Frayn writes in his postscript to the play, "Complexity is what the play is about: the complexity of human arrangements and of human beings themselves, and the difficulties that this creates in both shaping and understanding our actions."
'A profound and haunting meditation on the mysteries of human motivation' Independent
'Frayn has seized on a ral-life historical and scientific mystery. In 1941 the physicist Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the famous Uncertainty Principle about the movement of particles, and was at that time leading the Nazi's nuclear programme, went to visit his old boss and mentor, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen. What was the purpose of his visit to Nazi-occupied Denmark? What did the two old friends say to each other, particularly bearing in mind that Bohr was both half-Jewish and a Danish patriot?... Frayn argues that just as it is impossible to be certain of the precise location of an electron, so it is impossible to be certain about the workings of the human mind... What is certain is that Frayn makes ideas zing and sing in this play' Daily Telegraph
On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.
Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.
In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn, the farceur "by whom all others must be measured" (CurtainUp), tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.