It was at the Old Vic, too, that Frayn's Noises Off was recently revived in a production that is now playing at the West End's Novello Theatre. This production of Democracy, directed by Paul Miller, is a transfer from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, where it was seen earlier this year as part of an extensive Michael Frayn season that also included full productions of Benefactors and Copenhagen.
The play, which is described in press materials as a "gripping cold war drama, is about the geopolitical ambitions of an inspirational politician and the forces in play around him, exploring the Machiavellian nature of coalition government. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt - one of the most charismatic leaders in post-war politics - makes history as he starts to reunite Europe; but he discovers things aren’t as straightforward as they seem when a spy is uncovered in his office and his plans are thrown into chaos."
The original production won the 2003 Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Awards for Best Play, and it was nominated for the 2005 Tony Award for Best Play.
The cast comprises Andrew Bridgmont, David Cann, Patrick Drury, Richard Hope, William Hoyland, Ed Hughes, David Mallinson, Aidan McArdle, James Quinn and Rupert Vansittart.
In a press statement, Michael Frayn commented, "All three of the productions that Sheffield Theatres did of my plays earlier this year were terrific. I’m so pleased that at any rate one of them, Paul Miller's Democracy, has found a London home – if only because I so much want to see it again myself. And a particular pleasure to have it at The Old Vic, still warm from their Noises Off." Kevin Spacey, artistic director of the Old Vic, added, "I am delighted that we are continuing our relationship with Michael Frayn following the great experience we've had together with Noises Off. Michael's work is compelling and we're excited now to work with Daniel Evans and Sheffield Theatres to bring their terrific production of Democracy to a wider audience."
Daniel Evans, artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, also commented, "We are thrilled that Democracy, one of the highly acclaimed plays in our Michael Frayn season at Sheffield Theatres, will be transferring to London – and even more delighted that its new home will be at one of the capital’s most prestigious theatres, The Old Vic. We are proud to produce high quality work which attracts audiences from the city, the region and beyond, and it is wonderful that this opportunity will allow us to bring our work in Sheffield to an even wider audience."
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7628, or visit www.oldvictheatre.com.