Democracy plays final performance April 17th

By: Apr. 01, 2005
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The National Theatre of Great Britain's critically acclaimed production of DEMOCRACY, a new play by Michael Frayn, directed by Michael Blakemore, will play its final performance on Sunday, April 17th at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th Street). The production, which opened November 18, 2004, will have played 173 performances and 17 previews.

DEMOCRACY is an exhilarating mix of Cold War spy thriller, political shell game and drama about human nature and identity. The play follows the astonishing career of Willy Brandt, the first left-of-center chancellor in West Germany in 40 years, and his downfall at the hands of his trusted assistant, Günter Guillaume, who is secretly spying on Brandt for the notorious East German Stasi. The play examines Guillaume's dual identity, as his duty to Brandt's enemies conflicts with his genuine love and admiration for his prey.

The play originally opened to ecstatic reviews at the National in August, 2003, where it won the 2003 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, the 2003 Critics' Circle Award for Best Play, and the 2003 South Bank Award for Best Play.

The Broadway production opened on November 18, 2004 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, and received rave reviews. Ben Brantley, New York Times, wrote: "Michael Frayn's DEMOCRACY is one of those rare dramas that don't just dare to think big but that fully translate their high aspirations to the stage, with sharp style and thrilling clarity. For New York theatergoers who have endured the recent spate of dutiful revivals and misconceived star vehicles, watching Mr. Frayn's gripping study of the fraught glory years of Chancellor Willy Brandt and the spy who loved him is like riding a wave after dog paddling in shallow waters." Linda Winer, Newsday, called it "Fascinating. Rich, gripping entertainment." Howard Kissel, Daily News, said that "DEMOCRACY is a bracing reminder of why we go to the theatre." And Clive Barnes, New York Post, proclaimed, "DEMOCRACY is theatre at its finest."

DEMOCRACY stars James Naughton as Willy Brandt, Richard Thomas as Günter Guillaume, Robert Prosky as Herbert Wehner and Michael Cumpsty as Arno Kretschmann, with Terry Beaver (Reinhard Wilke), John Dossett (Helmut Schmidt), Julian Gamble (Ulrich Bauhaus), John Christopher Jones (Hans-Dietrich Genscher) , Richard Masur (Horst Ehmke) and Lee Wilkof (Günther Nollau).

Set design is by Peter J. Davison, costume design by Sue Wilmington, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Neil Alexander.

DEMOCRACY is produced by Boyett/Ostar Productions, Nederlander Presentations, Inc., Jean Doumanian, Stephanie McClelland, Arielle Tepper, Amy Nederlander, Eric Falkenstein and Roy Furman.

Performances are Tuesday at 7:00 PM, Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 PM, with matinees Wednesday and Saturday at 2:00 PM, Sunday at 3:00 PM. Tickets are available at or at 212: 307-4100.

Visit DEMOCRACY online at