London Hit Democracy Extends to Dec. 30 and Jumps to Larger Theatre

News   London Hit Democracy Extends to Dec. 30 and Jumps to Larger Theatre Michael Frayn's Democracy, arguably now the hottest play in London, has extended its run at the Royal National Theatre's small Cottesloe until Dec. 30. After that, the show is expected to jump to the RNT's larger Lyttelton sometime in March.

This first move is just as Variety conjectured on Sept. 29, and a path similar to that taken by Frayn's Copenhagen a few years ago. A move from the Lyttelton to the West End, and then on to Broadway, will likely follow.

The Michael Frayn play began previews at the Royal National Theatre Aug. 30. 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.

The American producer Bob Boyett—who with Bill Haber recently signed a deal with the RNT which would give them first dibs on New York transfers of National shows—said a move to Broadway for Democracy would cost $2.5-$3 million. "It's a brilliant play, brilliantly directed," he said.

Director Michael Blakemore has said that, should his London hit Democracy make a likely transfer to Broadway, he would insist on an American cast.

"I would like to cast this with Americans," Blakemore told Variety. "There's no reason why actors doing a play set in Germany should have English accents. And if you cast the play with people from the country you're playing in, the parallels with the political system in that country come sharply into focus." Copenhagen was based on a real life 1941 meeting between 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 is performed in the Royal National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre. Copenhagen also started life at the National.

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