Stage Review

Democracy (2004)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Opening Date: Nov 18, 2004; Writer: Michael Frayn

The ineffably English playwright Michael Frayn, who built 2000's brain-teasing adult political drama Copenhagen on the historical relationship between nuclear physicists Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg during World War II, now builds a provocative, ineffably British political drama from equally obdurate materials: the historical relationship between West German chancellor Willy Brandt (James Naughton) and an ingratiating aide (Richard Thomas) whose exposure as an East German spy helped bring about Brandt's downfall. The British do love their spies — but are they, as Frayn suggests in Michael Blakemore's handsome production with well-tailored performances by Men in Suits, really no more or less deplorable than impure politicians?

Originally posted Dec 03, 2004 Published in issue #795 Dec 03, 2004 Order article reprints