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Democracy (Fast Track Playscripts)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  136 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Three political parties, in and out of bed with each other like drunken intellectuals, fifteen warring cabinet ministers, and sixty million separate egos. All making deals with each other and breaking them. All looking round at every moment to see the expression on everyone else's face. All trying to guess which way everyone else will jump. All out for themselves and all t ...more
Unknown Binding
Published June 17th 2004 by Not Avail (first published 2003)
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John E. Branch Jr.
Plays like this one, and Tom Stoppard's Coast of Utopia trilogy, make me wonder why Americans (of which I must count myself one) write and produce hardly any political drama. It need not be about one's own country, as Frayn demonstrates here by dramatizing events in the mid-20th-century history of Germany, and it can be inventively theatrical without requiring a huge cast or a vastly expensive production, as Frayn also demonstrates.

This play is thrilling without being a thriller and smart withou
Apr 12, 2015 Joshua rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Set against the backdrop of 1970's German reunification politics, Democracy plays as part history lesson part investigation into the divided man. Though I think the play works on a cerebral level (the idea of a spy being aligned with both sides simultaneously and being forced to unify himself at the same time the country is trying to unify is interesting), it's character become more mouthpieces than people. Each character is barely a sketch, just enough to create a platform for an idea but not e ...more
My Japanese is not what it once was (and even then, it wasn't much), but I do find this translation of one of my all-time favourite plays to be very well done. The nuances of the Japanese language -- levels of politeness, personal pronoun choices, and the like -- really help reveal what the characters think of each other, and add to the complexity of the play. I doubt I'll ever be able to see this performed live in Japanese (and almost certainly not with the inimitable Takeshi Kaga portraying Wi ...more
Peter Orvetti
As with "Copenhagen," I was ultimately disappointed with this play despite my personal interest in the topic.

The internal workings of a modern representative democracy offer a lot of room for wordplay and stage conflict, and the injection of a Cold War spy scandal provides opportunity for action and intrigue. These do exist in "Democracy." But Frayn gets bogged down in the details, and play wanders into the weeds, with far too many long discourses on now-obscure minutiae that confuse even an inf
Nov 25, 2014 Kristina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1. 20.05.14-25.11.14

I read most of this from september and until now, but I've had so much to do (and so many other books to read) that it's taken quite long to finish!

I actually liked it a lot, once I could read it for pleasure and not for the class it was for. I really enjoyed Frayn's 'Copenhagen' as well when we read that for class, and this did not disappoint! I enjoy his way of using real historical situations and give us a look at what might have been going on behind the scenes.
Mar 22, 2009 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really fascinating play about an era I knew very little about. And what happens when a leader is loved and adored by the people and thought to be almost god-like and then turns out to be human?

This being said though, this is a very intellectually stimulating play, but it isn't a one that connects with your emotions as much as one would hope. However this might be different with the right actors and director involved
Jan 13, 2016 Marc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, drama
Sep 15, 2009 Ernie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2008
Michael Frayn is an incredible playwright. I haven't had the chance to see this play on stage, but I would love to. This is definitely worth the read if you are looking for a good drama. I would also recommend reading Michael Frayn's background on the play - it is quite informative, though you don't need to be an expert on German political history in order to appreciate this excellent drama.
Oct 08, 2008 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theatre-film
Another amazing play by Michael Frayn! He has an incredible talent for taking intellectual, ethical and political ideas and dramatizing them into a gripping theatrical experience. I would give it 5 stars compared to most other plays and 4 stars compared to his earlier play, Copenhagen, which simply blew me away!

I saw the world premier production in London, England. June 2004.
Jun 10, 2012 Steffi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a German I find it amazing that a British Author is interested in this matter. The affair - and even more the protagonists - are described with great empathy and sympathy for both sides. And - like Frayn describes correctly - the power struggle among the Social Democrats was also decisive für Willy Brandts resignation.
Feb 16, 2015 Ian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Why are they talking like that? Make it stop.
Apr 10, 2007 Simon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I mean, yeah, it's brilliant, but it did tell me a lot more about German politics in the 1970s than I really wanted to know.
Sep 24, 2008 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Truthfully, I haven't actually read this, only seen it performed... but it was AMAZING!
Steven Yenzer
Nov 16, 2013 Steven Yenzer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another terrific historical fiction play from Michael Frayn. Would love to see this.
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Michael Frayn is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy. His novels, such as Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, have also been critical and commercial successes, making him one of the handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction. His works often rais ...more
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