The Arts

Tarragon Theatre – Michael Frayn’s Democracy

Tarragon Theatre – Michael Frayn’s Democracy featured image

by Paula Citron.
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Democracy
Tarragon Theatre
Written by Michael Frayn
Directed by Richard Rose
Starring RH Thomson, Alon Nashman and Alex Poch-Goldin
At Tarragon Theatre until Apr. 6
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Michael Frayn’s 2003 play Democracy is heady stuff as ten actors recreate the government of former German chancellor Willy Brandt. Brandt won the 1971 Nobel Peace Prize for bringing East and West Germany closer together, but ended his term in disgrace when it was revealed that a close advisor was an East German spy.

Frayn’s play introduces the ambitious politicians of Brandt’s socialist coalition, but they serve as the back drop for the fascinating and ambiguous relationship between Brandt, played by RH Thomson, and the spy Günter Guillaume, performed by Alon Nashman. The dynamic between the two provides a rich theatrical experience. Alex Poch-Goldin is excellent as Guillame’s East German contact. In fact, there is not a weak link in the large cast.

There is a very strong element of tongue-in-cheek in the play despite the seriousness of the subject matter. Director Richard Rose has controlled his actors by concentrating on the irony of the dialogue.

Democracy continues at Tarragon Theatre until Apr. 6.

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