Catherine Geoghegan

Democracy at the National Theatre

Democracy, written by Michael Frayn, won the "Best New Play" award by the 2003 Evening Standard Theatre Awards. It is being preformed in the Royal National Theatre on the middle sized staged because of its large success on the smaller stage.

The play revolves around German politics in the era of the cold war. Roger Allam who plays Willie Brandt, the elected leader of West Germany, did a particularly good job in his interpretation of the suave political hero. Conleth Hill who plays Gunter Guillaume is also notable in his portrayal of the East German spy who would bring about Willie's demise.

Democracy is a well executed play; the stage conveys a feeling of austerity and rigidity, much like the plot. The all male cast does a wonderful job of creating a world of allies and distrust behind each other's backs while working towards the goal of a democracy in a fallen nation.

However, the one fatal flaw of Democracy the play is that it is about German politics in a time that not everyone can identify with. While it may have been an emotionally stirring play to someone who lived through the cold war, it was extremely difficult for this twenty year old girl.

• Democracy is at the Royal National Theatre until Tuesday 30 March.

• 020 7452 3000.

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