Copenhagen has ratings and reviews. But in his Tony Award- winning play Copenhagen, Michael Frayn shows us that these men were passionate. In Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, a fictional account of an actual event during World War II, two physicists exchange heated words and profound. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Copenhagen by Michael Frayn.

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Copenhagen by Michael Frayn. Please note that these ratings solely fryn the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. The complete review ‘s Review:. Copenhagen is among the unlikelier dramas of recent times to have become a great success.

It focusses on an historical incident: What was discussed at the meeting has long been the subject of debate among scientists and historians; recently released letters see them at the Niels Bohr Archive shed michal light on matters, without completely clearing up the question.

At issue, in essence, was the atomic bomb. Rfayn it wasand it was unclear how or even whether an atomic bomb could be built. Heisenberg appears to have sounded out Bohr, to determine Add to that conditions under which the meeting arose. Heisenberg was one of the few German scientists who did not flee as the Nazis consolidated their power.



He was an important scientist in what was the most powerful country in Clpenhagen at the time. The United States had not yet entered the war and a German victory still seemed more than plausible. Tiny Denmark, meanwhile, was an occupied state. Copenhagen has only three characters — the two scientists and Bohr’s wife.

They are also all dead, reconvening in some sort of afterlife and going over old times. Though it is not written in any stage instructions, the stage is clearly meant to be essentially bare. It doesn’t sound in the least promising, and yet as Frayn presents it it is truly gripping theatre. The characters reminisce, after a fashion, and replay some of the events. Margrethe Bohr isn’t very happy with Heisenberg, while Bohr can be seduced ccopenhagen his scientific brilliance.

Heisenberg also remains an ambiguous figure, not willing to renounce Germany and its horrible government, but in many respects a caring soul. There’s a great deal of talk about physics, along with some personal anecdotes, and there’s always the spectre of the bomb.

Copenhagen (play) – Wikipedia

Frayn’s great success is in his presentation of the material: The three characters dance around one another in elementary orbits. And uncertainty — and unknowability — are principles throughout. The science is served up well and utilized well, in support of the material. The history is interesting.


Copenhagen review – Michael Frayn’s masterwork still blazes with mystery

And it is all put together in a very entertaining way. If there is any weakness, or disappointing aspect to the play, it is the history — or rather, the fact that so much is made of it. Does Frayn have it right? Did they really talk like this, about these things? It’s a shame, in a way, to judge the play on this basis, as if Hamlet should be considered just in terms of how close it is to historical truth.

Frayn isn’t attempting to write history, and many of the issues he raises are as valid as they would be even if he got every historical aspect of the play wrong. The play’s the thing, not the history, and if enjoyed as such it is a very fine achievement.

Copenhagen – Michael Frayn

It’s damn good too even if one considers it rrayn as inventive docu-drama. The play also contains an extensive Postscript by the author, discussing much of the historical background to the play and including a useful bibliography.

Though interesting, note that some of this material has since been superseded: Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.