Copenhagen. Theatre Royal Bath

Michael Frayn’s story of a meeting of two physicists in Denmark in 1941 is also a story of why the Nazis were unable to create a nuclear bomb before the Americans.

The simple reason was many of the best scientists were Jews and they had fled the Third Reich for safety in the USA.

Werner Heisenberg (Philip Arditti) is the Nazi apologist who seeks information from his former friend (pictured) Niels Bohr (Malcolm Sinclair) who being a Danish patriot and half-Jewish is not minded to help.

Observing the arguments is Niels’ wife Margrethe played with intense interest by Haydn Gwynne who requests her husband not to talk politics.

It wasn’t going to happen as the split loyalties of the scientific duo burst out into the open in a series of blistering arguments filled with complex detail about the mechanics of splitting the atom.

It’s gripping but hardly exciting theatre with words and little action as the cast of three rearrange what little furniture there is on a circular rotating stage under a circular light.

One for those interested in the build up to Hiroshima and of occupied Denmark in World War Two.

Harry Mottram

The play runs to Saturday, 26th June, 2021.

Details of the play at and what’s on at the Theatre Royal is at

Harry Mottram is the news editor of Bath Voice monthly magazine covers news, views, reviews, previews and features as well as what’s on in Bath and events for residents in Bear Flat, Widcombe and Oldfield Park and the wider Bath area. Delivered door to door in south Bath and available in shops and supermarkets. See the Facebook site for details and read the latest issue online at

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