Theatre That Changed My Life, Week 3: Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen (1998)

David Burke, Sara Kestelman and Matthew Marsh in Copenhagen

David Burke, Sara Kestelman and Matthew Marsh in Copenhagen

I promised that for every week that theatres remained closed, I’d write a post in tribute to a piece of life-changing theatre. But this week, we’ve reached Sunday, and I still haven’t posted anything. There is a reason: I’ve had to spend a lot of this week visiting hospitals to have some serious medical tests. I’ve finally had some good news – we’ve now excluded all the most frightening possibilities. But it hasn’t been very fun.


So this was supposed to be a post in tribute to Copenhagen, Michael Frayn’s blockbuster play about uncertainty and the ethics of the nuclear bomb. Copenhagen was the biggest commercial hit of 1998-9, transferring from the NT’s Cottesloe Theatre (now the Dorfman) where it ran for more than 300 performances, to the Duchess, where it ran for over 750. I saw it twice.


But I’m going to cheat, because this week has been wiped out by hospital visits. Here’s a Telegraph piece by Ben Lawrence instead, which explored the play’s history ahead of its 2018 revival at Chichester. And here’s me on Radio 4’s Saturday Review, discussing both 1998 and 2018 productions alongside Tom Sutcliffe, Shahidha Bari and Rajan Datar. Click here and start listening at 10.20.


Normal service resumes next week.

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