Absorbing historical drama Copenhagen coming to Cambridge Arts Theatre stage

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

A three-hander based on the fascinating true story of two Nobel Prize-winning physicists can be seen on stage in Cambridge.

Michael Frayn’s multi award-winning masterpiece Copenhagen is coming to Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Starring former Drop The Dead Donkey favourite Haydn Gwynne, Copenhagen opens at the theatre in St Edward’s Passage on Monday, July 12.

In Nazi-occupied Copenhagen, a clandestine encounter is known to have taken place in 1941 between two top physicists, Dane Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, a German.

The men were old friends and long-term colleagues, but now found themselves on opposite sides of the divide.


Under the watchful eye of Bohr’s wife, Margrethe, the two men debate and exchange their transformative ideas, which had huge implications for both the Nazis and the Allies, and for our world today.

Malcolm Sinclair as Dane Niels Bohr in Copenhagen.

Malcolm Sinclair as Dane Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

A dazzling exploration of two brilliant minds and their motives, Copenhagen premiered at the National Theatre in 1998, running for over 300 performances.

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It opened on Broadway in 2000, and subsequently was adapted into a television film in 2002, starring Daniel Craig and produced by BBC.

The production coming to Cambridge – following the current run of Four Quartets starring Ralph Fiennes – features one of our most popular stage and screen actors.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Best known for playing Alex Pates, assistant editor and George's second-in-command, in Channel 4 newsroom sitcom Drop The Dead Donkey, Haydn Gwynne plays Margrethe.

She has also starred in The Windsors and Peak Practice on TV and Billy Elliot The Musical on Broadway.

Haydn is joined on stage by Olivier Award nominee Malcolm Sinclair (Pie in the Sky, Pressure) as Danish physicist Niels Bohr and Philip Arditti (Sanctuary, House of Saddam) as Werner Heisenberg.

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

German physicist Heisenberg was one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics – and has links with Cambridgeshire.

Following the Second World War in 1945, he was held at Farm Hall in Godmanchester, Cambridgeshire, along with nine other German scientists.

Detained during Operation Epsilon, Farm Hall was set up as a bugged safe house by MI6, and the scientists’ conversations were recorded and have since been released as transcripts.

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr and Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen.

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr and Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Absorbing historical story Copenhagen can be seen on the Cambridge Arts Theatre stage from Monday, July 12 to Saturday, July 17,  with evening performances at 7.30pm, and Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2.30pm.

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, which can be seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre.

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, which can be seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen.

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen by Michael Frayn.

Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr in Copenhagen by Michael Frayn. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr, Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg.

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr, Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Malcolm Sinclair as Niels Bohr, Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen.

Malcolm Sinclair as Danish physicist Niels Bohr, Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg and Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen.

Haydn Gwynne as Margrethe and Philip Arditti as Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen. - Credit: Nobby Clark


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