Michael Frayn's DEMOCRACY Transfers to Old Vic from June


The Old Vic will bring the critically acclaimed Sheffield Theatres' production of Michael Frayn's cold-war drama Democracy to London with previews from 15 June and press night on 20 June. Associate Director of Sheffield Theatres Paul Miller directs.

First seen at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield as part of the Michael Frayn season, Democracy marks the first London transfer under Daniel Evans' tenure as Sheffield Theatres' Artistic Director in this the Crucible's 40th anniversary year.

Frayn's witty and intriguing play is about the geopolitical ambitions of an inspirational politician and the forces in play around him, exploring the Machiavellian nature of coalition government. West German Chancellor Willy Brandt - one of the most charismatic leaders in post-war politics - makes history as he starts to reunite Europe; but he discovers things aren't as straightforward as they seem when a spy is uncovered in his office and his plans are thrown into chaos.

Democracy received its premiere at The National Theatre in 2003 winning the Evening Standard Award and Critics' Circle Best Play awards.

An ensemble of actors bring to life the political world of Democracy - Andrew Bridgmont, David Cann, Patrick Drury, Richard Hope, William Hoyland, Ed Hughes, David Mallinson, Aidan McArdle, James Quinn and Rupert Vansittart.

Michael Frayn said: "All three of the productions that Sheffield Theatres did of my plays earlier this year were terrific. I'm so pleased that at any rate one of them, Paul Miller's Democracy, has found a London home – if only because I so much want to see it again myself. And a particular pleasure to have it at The Old Vic, still warm from their Noises Off."

Kevin Spacey Artistic Director of The Old Vic said: "I am delighted that we are continuing our relationship with Michael Frayn following the great experience we've had together with Noises Off. Michael's work is compelling and we're excited now to work with Daniel Evans and Sheffield Theatres to bring their terrific production of Democracy to a wider audience."

Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Sheffield Theatres said: "We are thrilled that Democracy, one of the highly acclaimed plays in our Michael Frayn season at Sheffield Theatres, will be transferring to London – and even more delighted that its new home will be at one of the capital's most prestigious theatres, The Old Vic. We are proud to produce high quality work which attracts audiences from the city, the region and beyond, and it is wonderful that this opportunity will allow us to bring our work in Sheffield to an even wider audience."

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on The Guardian and The Observer. His plays include the multi award-winning Noises Off which is currently at the Novello Theatre after transferring from The Old Vic, Copenhagen, Afterlife, Benefactors and Donkeys' Years. His book, My Father's Fortune: A Life was published by Faber & Faber in September 2010 and shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Biography Award and winner of the PEN/Ackerley Prize 2011. His novel, Spies, was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize (2002) and won the Whitbread Award for Fiction (2002). Headlong was shortlisted for the 1999 Booker Prize, the Whitbread Novel Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. Other novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun, as well as The Tin Men, Now You Know and Sweet Dreams. His latest novel, Skios, has just been published by Faber and Faber.

Paul Miller's work includes True West and Hamlet at the Crucible Theatre, Sheffield. His other work includes Elling at the Bush Theatre and Trafalgar Studios, Baby Girl/DNA/The Miracle, The Enchantment, Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads and The Associate for The National Theatre, The History Boys (West End and Ahmanson Theater LA) and Total Eclipse at the Menier Chocolate Factory. He worked for many years at The National Theatre Studio developing new plays and has directed for the Bush, the Arcola, Hampstead, ETT, Soho Theatre and the Royal Court.

Director Paul Miller, Designer Simon Daw, Lighting Mark Doubleday, Music and Sound Ben & Max Ringham.

The show runs Fri 15 June – Sat 14 July 2012 (Previews: 15 – 19 June; Opening: Wed 20 June at 7pm) with performances Mon–Sat 7.30pm; Wed & Sat 2.30pm. (There are no matinee performances on Sat 16 June or Wed 20 June. There is a matinee performance on Thu 21 June.) Tickets are £10, £15, £20, £25, £35, £45 (concessions available) from 0844 871 7628 and www.oldvictheatre.com.

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