Copenhagen

  • by Michael Frayn
  • Narrated by Simon Russell Beale
  • 1 hrs and 59 mins
  • original_recording Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Benedict Cumberbatch, Greta Scacchi and Simon Russell Beale star in Michael Frayn's award-winning play about the controversial 1941 meeting between physicists Bohr and Heisenberg. Copenhagen, Autumn 1941.
The two presiding geniuses of quantum physics, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg meet for the first time since the breakout of war. Danish physicist Bohr and his wife, Margrethe, live in Nazi-occupied Denmark; their visitor, Heisenberg, is German, the two old friends, now on opposing sides have between them the ability to change the course of history.
Frayn's Tony award-winning play imagines the three characters re-drafting the events of 1941 in an attempt to make sense of them. With Greta Scacchi as Margrethe Bohr, Simon Russell Beale as Niels Bohr and Benedict Cumberbatch as Werner Heisenberg. This new version of Copenhagen is adapted for radio and directed by Emma Harding.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What did they talk about?

Would you listen to Copenhagen again? Why?

Yes. "Copenhagen" is both tightly focused and yet open in its conclusions - and because the story it tells was a key event in the history of the Second World War and beyond - mainly because nothing happened as a result.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Copenhagen?

It is not a play that depends on single moments.


What about Simon Russell Beale’s performance did you like?

He catches the seriousness and yet the oddity of the meeting between Bohr and Heisenberg.


If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

What did they talk about?


Any additional comments?

This audio-play for three voices -- Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg and Margrethe Heisenborg -- is tough but rewarding going. The two physicists circle round each other during Heisenberg’s 1941 visit to occupied Copenhagen, sometimes talking but, more often, talking about each other, with Margrethe as a troubled commentator. At stake is the Nazi’s project to build a nuclear bomb (with, had they known it, the Cold War that followed World War 2) and Frayn imagines the conversation, in the apparent absence of any record of what happened when they met. Ideas matter is the theme of this tense but always indirect play. From the title onwards, it is the indirection that marks out “Copenhagen” as unusual and remarkable drama.

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- DT

Thought provoking play

Very deep play well acted and food for thought makes you also ask questions about ethics and what our omissions or actions lead to
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- a addison

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-08-2013
  • Publisher: BBC Worldwide Limited