‘I’m your enemy; I’m also your friend. I’m a danger to mankind; I’m also your guest. I’m a particle; I’m also a wave.’
In the first production from the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at King’s College London, memory, guilt and nuclear physics are thrown together in an explosive play about the uncertain nature of the universe – and of our own minds.
1924: Two physicists, Niels Bohr and his soon-to-be protégé Wernher Heisenberg, come together at a conference. They go on to lay the groundwork for a second Enlightenment, the foundation of modern physics.
1941: With Copenhagen under German occupation, Heisenberg – now chief scientist on the Nazi atomic research programme – visits his old friend Bohr, and Bohr’s wife Margrethe. What was said remains unknown, but the conversation ended the closest friendship in physics and nobody, not even those who were present, has ever been able to answer the question: Why did Heisenberg come to Copenhagen?
In an afterlife where the three characters can move freely through their pasts, Michael Frayn’s play delves into that question, and in doing so explores collaboration and complicity, self-knowledge and self-deception, and how we distort our own motives and memories.
Who is to blame for the atomic bomb – for bringing a beleaguered world to the precipice of annihilation?
What is right in times of war, when your life, the lives of your loved ones, hang in the balance?
How can ever know with certainty why we do what we do?
In a compelling and intense production, the play will be performed on Friday 14 March, Saturday 15 March, and Sunday 16 March, each evening at 19.30pm. The performance venue will be the Old Anatomy Museum, King’s Building, on the Strand Campus of King’s College London. A map and details of how to reach King’s are here.
For entry to the building, you will need to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets can be purchased from Eventbrite, here. Prices are:
- General Admission: £8
- Concessions: £5
Copenhagen is a play by Michael Frayn. The production is performed by Ria Abbott, Fred Fullerton, and Thomas Marsh. This production is led by Alister MacQuarrie (Director), Aja Garrod (Producer), and William Nash (Managing Producer). Financial support has been gratefully received from the King’s College London Alumni & Supporter Relations Office, through the Student Opportunity Fund, funded by the generosity of Alumni donations. Financial and administrative support from the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, the Department of Informatics and the Department of Physics are also gratefully acknowledged. Administrative and technical support has also been given by King’s Cultural Institute. The crew and cast also acknowledge the assistance of Samuel French Ltd, in obtaining performance rights for the play.