l-llSTOPICAL. DRAMA COPENHAGEN Citizens’ Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 8—Sat 12 Oct

The science and arts communities rarely fuse, but Michael Frayn achieved just such a feat with Copenhagen. His play - a runaway hit at London’s National Theatre - explores the relationship of the Danish physicist Niels Bohr and his German counterpart Werner Heisenberg, focusing on their controversial meeting to discuss nuclear physics in 1941 during World War II. It raises issues that scientists and historians have argued about for years, such as Heisenberg’s motivations in visiting Bohr - who was on the enemy side and why the meeting turned hostile.

For many audiences, a play about quantum physics might be daunting. But director Alistair McCrone of Mull Theatre, the first company in Scotland to produce Copenhagen, disagrees. ‘It’s an

Physics all theatre

incredibly powerful play, and although the quantum mechanics are part of the play it’s not obtrusive,’ he says. ‘Audiences at Mull were worried that they wouldn’t be able to keep up because the subject would be too remote and challenging, but people don’t need to know about quantum physics to

watch Copenhagen.’

The play isn’t only about the Bohr and Heisenberg meeting, but an exploration of trust, human relations and a complex moral dilemma. It is not an easy play to watch; McCrone says it’s the hardest piece he’s ever


Nevertheless, he doesn’t believe that the play’s success and the attention it has received depend solely on its controversial subject matter. ‘You forget the controversy when you see the play,’ he says. ‘lt’s easy to stress the subject matter, but the reason the play works is because it’s a play about people and it’s why Frayn wrote it as a play.’

(Shou-Ling Cheung)

'. SCLCJ’DTISrr ‘.'.973:'IN(3


Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, Wed 9—Sat 19 Oct

Babe in arms

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Traverse Theatre, Sat 12 Oct.

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(2'. ASSK) HD8136. CAROUSEL Perth Theatre, until 12 Oct. 00

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Adam Smith Theatre, Kirkcaldy, until Sat 5 Oct, then touring OOO

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