Frayn's London Democracy Draws Attention of New York Producers

News   Frayn's London Democracy Draws Attention of New York Producers Michael Frayn's latest play, Democracy, which began previews at the National Theatre Aug. 30 under the direction of Michael Blakemore, may soon find its way to New York City.

The show opened on Sept. 9 to embracing reviews. Before and since the premiere, the production has attracted the attendance of Broadway producers and theatre owners. Representatives of the Shubert and Nederlander theatre-owning organizations are expected to take in the show during the first week of October.

Variety recently speculated that the play has the potential to follow the same trajectory as Copenhagen, the last Frayn play to be piloted by Blakemore. That tense three-hander reached Broadway in spring 2000 and won the Best Play Tony Award that season. It ran a year and was then mounted at theatres across the U.S. James M. Nederlander, Roger Berlind, Scott Rudin, Elizabeth Ireland McCann, Ray Larsen, Jon B. Platt, Byron Goldman and Scott Nederlander produced the show by arrangement with The Royal National Theatre, Michael Codron and Lee Dean.

Copenhagen was based on a real life 1941 meeting two world famous physicists, one Danish and one German. Frayn again draws on European history for his new play. Democracy is set in West Germany in 1969, with Chancellor (the German term for Prime Minister) Willy Brandt taking office, little realizing that his personal assistant is spying on him for the East German Secret Service.

The play stars Roger Allam and Conleth Hill. It will be performed in the Royal National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre. Copenhagen also started life at the National.

All told, Michael Blakemore has directed seven of Frayn's plays. Frayn's most famous play is arguable Noises Off, which recently has a revival on Broadway.

Roger Allam, Conleth Hill and Jonathan Coy.
Roger Allam, Conleth Hill and Jonathan Coy. Photo by Conrad Blakemore
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