West Germany, 1969. Willy Brandt begins his brief but remarkable career as the first left-of-centre Chancellor for nearly forty years. Always present but rarely noticed is Günter Guillaume, Brandt’s devoted personal assistant – and no less devoted in his other role, spying on Brandt for the Stasi.
“Three political parties, in and out of bed with each other like drunken intellectuals, fifteen warring cabinet ministers, and sixty million separate egos. All making deals with each other and breaking them. All looking round at every moment to see the expression on everyone else’s face. All trying to guess which way everyone else will jump. All out for themselves and all totally dependent on everyone else. Not one Germany. Sixty million separate Germanies. The tower of Babel!”
Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen, also directed by Michael Blakemore, premiered at the National in 1998, before transferring to the West End, Paris and Broadway, winnng the Tony Award for Best Play. His many other plays include Noises Off (recently revived at the National, also West End & national tour), Benefactors, Make or Break, Donkeys’ Years, Clouds and Alphabetical Order.