Full-Length Play, Drama  /  1w, 2m

In 1941, German physicist Werner Heisenberg arrives in Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. Though they revolutionized atomic science in the 1920s, they now find themselves on opposite sides of a world war.

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    1w, 2m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Period, Docudrama/Historic
  • Audience
    Target Audience
  • Winner! 2000 Tony Award for Best Play


In 1941, German physicist Werner Heisenberg goes to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. Together they revolutionized atomic science in the 1920s, but now they are on opposite sides of a world war. In this incisive drama by the prominent British playwright, which premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London and opened to rave reviews on Broadway (ultimately winning the 2000 Tony Award for Best Play), the two men meet in a situation fraught with danger in hopes of discovering why we do what we do.
Copenhagen opened in London at the Cottesloe Theatre, Royal National Theatre on 28 May 1998. This production was moved to the Duchess Theatre, London, where it opened on 5 February 1999. Copenhagen opened on Broadway at the Royal Theatre on 11 April 2000 under the direction of Michael Blakemore.
Cast Attributes
WERNER HEISENBERG – 40s-50s, the German physicist
NIELS BOHR – 40s-50s, Heisenberg's Danish counterpart
MARGRETHE NORLUND BOHR – 40s, Niels's wife, an integral part of his life and work
  • Time Period 1940s / WWII
  • Setting Copenhagen. 1941. Simple interior setting.
  • Features Period Costumes
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes


“Invigorating and ingenious... An electrifying work of art.” – The New York Times

“The most invigorating and ingenious play of ideas in many a year. An electrifying work of art.” – The New York Times, Read More

“Superb. Dynamic.” – The New Yorker

“Gripping. A brilliant play.” – The Guardian

“The word ‘tremendous’ is often used but seldom deserved. In this case it is. Copenhagen is an intellectual and theatrical tour de force.” – London Times


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Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933. He began his career as a reporter for the Guardian and later the Observer. After leaving the Observer he continued to write as a columnist as well as publishing novels and plays for television and stage.

His plays for stage include Cop ...

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