A PlayBook - 2004
A brilliant exploration of character and conscience from the author of COPENHAGEN, set amid the tensions of 1960s Berlin
In Democracy , Michael Frayn once again creates out of the known events of twentieth-century history a drama of extraordinary urgency and subtlety, reimagining the interactions and motivations of Willy Brandt as he became chancellor of West Germany in 1966 and those of his political circle, including Günter Guillaume, a functionary who became Brandt's personal assistant-and who was eventually exposed as an East German spy in a discovery that helped force Brandt from office. But what circumstances allowed Brandt to become the first left-wing chancellor in forty years? And why, given his progressive policies, did the East German secret police feel it necessary to plant a spy in his office and risk bringing down his government?
Michael Frayn writes in his postscript to the play, "Complexity is what the play is about: the complexity of human arrangements and of human beings themselves, and the difficulties that this creates in both shaping and understanding our actions."