Southern Man

Friday, September 10, 2010

Play Review: Copenhagen

Copenhagen desribes a tense meeting between old friends, physicists Werner Heisenberg (German) and Neils Bohr (Danish), along with Bohr's wife, in 1941 when Demnark was occupied by Germany and both sides were, unknown to the other, working to harness the power of the atomic nucleus. To say that the audience must pay close attention is an understatement; there is no real plot, the action is non-linear and switches without warning from dramatic re-enactment to personal thoughts and observations, and one must be fairly conversant with European history through both World Wars, Shakespeare (particularly Hamlet), the Farm Hall interviews, and both the nature and history of physics - particularly quantum mechanics and nuclear physics. And it helps to have read both The History of the Atomic Bomb and Heisenburg's War at some point in the past. Not to brag, but it is his blog - Southern Man qualifies on all points.

And he found the play to be absolutely riveting. The two acts - with only three performers on a nearly bare stage - were each over ninety minutes long but there was never a moment that didn't demand almost rapt attention. And the joy of being in the company of friends that shared his intimate understanding was priceless. All in all, a fine, fine evening.


Post a Comment

<< Home