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Copenhagen (Methuen Drama) Paperback – 6 Apr 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury 3PL; First Printing edition (15 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413724905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413724908
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,535 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Michael Frayn is one of the great playwrights of our time.'
--Play Collections- Contemporary Dramatists, December, 2010

About the Author

Michael Frayn's award-winning plays include Alphabetical Order, Make and Break and Noises Off, all of which received Best Comedy of the Year awards, while Benefactors was named Best Play of the Year. Other recent works include Democracy, and Copenhagen, winner of numerous awards including the Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Best Play Awards 1998. In 2007 the Donmar Warehouse premiered his new work The Crimson Hotel.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Wilson on 23 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the book is wonderful - though I have only read it, never seen a performance. I suppose I have two unfair advantages in reading this book. Firstly I am reading, not watching, so I can turn back and go over difficult points again thus making better sense of them. Secondly I am a physicist (though very rusty nowadays), and I have a certain love for Quantum Theory engendered by Feynman's big red book.

I can see that without these two advantages the play might be less attractive. It can't be a total turn off, though, because the play was recommended to me by a non-scientific friend who saw it in London and was very much enthralled by it.

So it may be worth a non-scientist giving it a try.

For me, the book is better than the play for a third reason: it includes a wonderful postscript exhibiting the great forensic skill that Frayn used to write the play. What may annoy some people is that the book (or play) require hard work of the reader (or audience) and still end up raising many more questions than answers. But the questions are explored with great thoroughness, and the main characters are treated so honestly, and yet tenderly.

For me the effort required was well worth it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER on 14 April 2014
This small play has an experimental feel. Not only is it a hypothetical view of historic conversations between theoretical physicists but the characters are revisiting their lives from the grave and repeating the main scene with different interpretations. As a piece of experimental theatre I am not convinced it is a great success but as an intelligent and well written historical perspective it is worth listening to, especially for someone like me who likes physics.
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22 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Palle E T Jorgensen on 27 July 2003
Format: Paperback
You might not guess it from the title, but this is the play by Michael Frayn that for several years attracted full house at Broadway and at theaters in London. Background: The atomic bomb was built in Los Alamos during WW II by American scientists, and it signaled in 1945 the start of what we now call the Cold War. But it also ended WW II. Parallel to Los Alamos, German scientists in Leipzig worked on building a nuclear reactor, and the bright young Werner Heisenberg was an undisputed leader of the German fission project. However the science itself originated in Europe. The play has three characters, Werner Heisenberg, Niels Bohr, and Margrethe Bohr, and the location is the private home of the Bohrs. The book and the play paint a compelling picture of the three. When I went to the play in London, the audience sat in stitches for the whole two hours. I didn't see anyone dozing off, not even during the technical parts of the play. And they most certainly weren't just scientists. Much has been written about the other early atomic scientists, not directly part of the play, e.g., Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn, and Fritz Strassman, to mention just a few. During WW II, in the Fall of 1941, while Denmark was under Nazi occupation, Werner Heisenberg traveled from Leipzig to Copenhagen to see his mentor Niels Bohr. WH had just been 25 years old when he did the work for which he won the Nobel Prize, and in WH's early career, Bohr had become a father figure to the boyish and insecure Werner Heisenberg. The much younger WH was 40 when he visited the Bohrs. Michael Frayn imagines that the three, the Bohrs and Werner Heisenberg meet in after-life to re-live the fateful 1941 encounter, and to resolve WH's motives for his Copenhagen visit; a visit that clearly ended a long and deep friendship.Read more ›
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tony on 10 Nov. 1999
Format: Paperback
Copenhagen is a delight from start to finish. On stage it's mesmeric. Intelligent, moving and - despite the impression the text might give - intensely theathrical. Go and see it if you can.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
This play is a magnificent achievement but to appreciate it fully my advice is to read the book first for maximum understanding and enjoyment.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2000
Format: Paperback
I saw this play this week. It has an internal integrity that is reassuring. In the programme notes Frayn himself draws the boundaries between what is known, what is probable, what is speculative and what is fiction (in this case, what is possible). The fact that some understanding of particle physics and quantum theory is necessary is catered for in the text itself. All you need is a logical mind.
The overall effect is a highly intelligent play, centred upon the concept of all the uncertainties of life - and physics. The result is very satisfying and - since it is now all history - it does not pretend to have any high moral lessons. Thought provoking is enough, and that is achieved very well indeed.
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I bought this after seeing a semi-professional production. Who would have thought that a play about two physicists debating the structure of the universe and the unstable nature of truth could be so moving, interesting and mind-blowing? The most exciting play I have ever seen.
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very intereresting concept and structure to the play
increadably how frightening how close the Nazi Germany may have been to developing a nucular weapon
and only possibly for a minor conversation or events that they were beaten to the race
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