Michael Frayn - Author

About the Author

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun. Headlong (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while his most recent novel, Spies (2002), won the Whitbread Novel Award. His fifteen plays range from Noises Off  to Copenhagen  and most recently Afterlife. A collection of his travel writing, Travels with a Typewriter, was published in 2009, and a memoir, My Father's Fortune, in 2010. In April 2012 Michael Frayn was awarded the Sky Arts South Bank Lifetime Achievement award. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.

 

Author photo © Ekko von Schwichow

Featured books by Michael Frayn

Other books by Michael Frayn

Pocket Playhouse Thirty-six short entertainments

Pocket Playhouse Thirty-six short entertainments

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Pocket Playhouse is Michael Frayn's latest imaginative offering that brings the stage to the page. In thirty-six comic sketches, he provides a tour de force of theatrical imagination and satire. Each sketch reveals the author's infectious delight in writing between the lines of theatre, fiction and comedy. Charmingly packaged and published with flair, Pocket Playhouse is the perfect gift for all theatre and comedy writers.

Pocket Playhouse Thirty-six short entertainments

Pocket Playhouse Thirty-six short entertainments

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

Pocket Playhouse

Pocket Playhouse

Author: Michael Frayn Format: eBook Release Date: 05/09/2017

Pocket Playhouse is Michael Frayn's latest imaginative offering that brings the stage to the page. In thirty-six comic sketches, he provides a tour de force of theatrical imagination and satire. Each sketch reveals the author's infectious delight in writing between the lines of theatre, fiction and comedy.Charmingly packaged and published with flair, Pocket Playhouse is the perfect gift for all theatre and comedy writers.

The Trick of It

The Trick of It

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2017

He knows everything about her before they meet; more about her nine novels that she does herself. He has devoted his life to studying and teaching them, even though he is four times as clever as she is. Now, as she steps off the train, arriving to do a lecture for his students, something about her in the flesh sets him thinking. Maybe he has a chance to resolve the one remaining mystery at the heart of things . . .

A Landing on the Sun

A Landing on the Sun

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2017

For fifteen years, ever since the taciturn civil servant Stephen Summerchild fell to his death from a window, there have been rumours. So Brian Jessel, a young member of the Cabinet Office, is diverted from his routine work and asked to prepare an internal report. Slowly, from the archives in the registry, Jessel begins to reconstruct Summerchild's last months. It emerges that, at a time when America had just put men on the moon, the British were involved in an even bolder project, and that Summerchild was investigating a phenomenon as common as sunlight, but as powerful and dangerous as any of the forces that modern science has known. The secret world into which Brian Jessel stumbles turns out to be even more extraordinary than his department had feared.

Now You Know

Now You Know

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/08/2017

Bit of a wide boy, Terry. Got a spot of form, eye for the ladies, a real rough diamond some might say. Not without his virtues, though, as his campaign for open government shows. No secrets, that's Terry's secret. Allied to charm, that is, of course. Only one person finds it easy to resist his charm and counter his arguments and that's Hilary - one of the serious and dedicated young Civil Servants working in the Home Office in Westminster, who just happens to know the truth about the case in which Terry is currently interested. She despises him and everything he stands for. But then why is she to be found one evening walking through the back streets behind the Strand, to the run-down block where Terry's pressure group has its headquarters? Now You Know takes on government campaigns, ambitious civil servants and determined pressure groups with Frayn's trade-mark wit. Michael Frayn's other novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award.

Spies With IGCSE and A Level study guide

Spies With IGCSE and A Level study guide

Author: Michael Frayn, Andrew Bruff Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/04/2017

Designed to meet the requirements for students at IGCSE and A level, this accessible educational edition offers the complete text of Spies with a comprehensive study guide. Highlights of Andrew Bruff's guide include: - detailed analyses of character, setting and theme; - close examination of the novel's plot, structure and narrative techniques; - key quotations and activities both for the student working alone and in the classroom. In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live the only immediate signs of the Second World War are the blackout at night and a single random bomb site. But the two boys start to suspect all is not as it seems when one day Keith announces a disconcerting discovery: the Germans have infiltrated his own family. And when the secret underground world they have dreamed up emerges from the shadows they find themselves engulfed in mysteries far deeper and more painful than they had bargained for.

Spies

Spies

Author: Michael Frayn Format: eBook Release Date: 18/04/2017

Designed to meet the requirements for students at IGCSE and A level, this accessible educational edition offers the complete text of Spies with a comprehensive study guide. Highlights of Andrew Bruff's guide include:- detailed analyses of character, setting and theme;- close examination of the novel's plot, structure and narrative techniques;- key quotations and activities both for the student working alone and in the classroom.In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live the only immediate signs of the Second World War are the blackout at night and a single random bomb site. But the two boys start to suspect all is not as it seems when one day Keith announces a disconcerting discovery: the Germans have infiltrated his own family. And when the secret underground world they have dreamed up emerges from the shadows they find themselves engulfed in mysteries far deeper and more painful than they had bargained for.

Collected Columns

Collected Columns

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/04/2016

One of the funniest writers of his generation, Michael Frayn has been writing humorous newspaper columns since 1959, principally for the Guardian and Observer, and originally came to prominence as the thrice weekly purveyor of these short, surreal, razor-sharp explorations of human foibles, sex, politics, manners, and the events of the day. This volume brings together 110 of his finest and funniest pieces from over the years, selected and introduced by Michael Frayn himself, and is an unmissable treat for the many fans of his unique comic voice, as well as a revelation for fans of the award-winning literary novels and plays of his later career.

Noises Off

Noises Off

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/01/2016

Noises Off is not one play but two - simultaneously a traditional sex farce, Nothing On, and the backstage farce that develops during Nothing On's final rehearsal and tour. The two farces begin to interlock, as the characters make their exits from Nothing On only to find themselves making entrances into the even worse nightmare going on backstage, and exit from that only to make their entrances back into Nothing On. In the end, at the disastrous final performance in Stockton-on-Tees, the two farces can be kept separate no longer, and coalesce into one single collective nervous breakdown. Noises Off won both the Evening Standard and the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy when it was first produced, and ran in the West End for nearly five years. Michael Frayn's most recent play, Copenhagen, won both the Evening Standard Best Play Award in London and the Tony Best Play Award in New York.

The Russian Interpreter

The Russian Interpreter

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

The Russian Interpreter is a story about Raya, a mercurial Moscow blonde who speaks no English, and the affair she is embarking upon with Gordon Proctor-Gould, a visiting British businessman who speaks no Russian. They need an interpreter; which is how Paul Manning is diverted from writing his thesis at Moscow University to become involved in all the deceptions of love and East-West relations. After the death of Stalin in 1952, the Soviet Union opened its doors to the rest of the world and Michael Frayn was one of the first foreign students to enter the country. Drawing on his experience at Moscow University in the late 1950s, he brilliantly captures a country still recovering from the Second World War, racked with suspicion and intrigue, at once harsh and easy-going, lethargic and labour-intensive. Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Towards the End of the Morning

Towards the End of the Morning

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Michael Frayn's classic novel is set in the crossword and nature notes department of an obscure national newspaper during the declining years of Fleet Street, where John Dyson dreams wistfully of fame and the gentlemanly life - until one day his great chance of glory at last arrives. Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. 'Still ranks with Evelyn Waugh's Scoop as one of the funniest novels about journalists ever written.' Sunday Times 'A sublimely funny comedy about the ways newspapers try to put lives into words.' Spectator

The Tin Men

The Tin Men

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Why not program computers to take over the really dull jobs that human beings have to do - such as praying and behaving morally? At the William Morris Institute of Automation Research they are doing just that to free mankind for the really stimulating and demanding tasks of living today - first and foremost the impending visit of Her Majesty the Queen to open its new wing. . . Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Tin Men, his first novel, is now a modern classic. Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award it explores computers, technology and automation with customary humour and wit.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Heaven, reported St John in Revelation, was a cubical city 12,000 furlongs high made of 'pure gold, like unto clear glass'. That was 1,900 years ago, and Heaven as it is today has changed out of all recognition. Sweet Dreams is the account of a recent journey to the metropolis at the nerve-centre of the universe. The journey was undertaken not by a mystical reporter like St John, but by Howard Baker, an observer of much more modern outlook. He finds a city which offers rich opportunities for leisure and enjoyment - but one which also presents a moral and intellectual challenge. In short, a city which is highly adapted to the requirements of modest, responsible, likeable, educated men of liberal views and genuine social concern called Howard Baker. Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of plays such as Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and his latest novel Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. 'May go down in history as one of England's special contributions to the twentieth century.' Times Literary 'Lucid, intelligent, delightful, stylish, extremely funny . . . I recommend it wholeheartedly.' New York Times

A Very Private Life

A Very Private Life

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/11/2015

Uncumber lives in a dystopian world where all humanity is divided in two - the Insiders and the Outsiders. The Insiders are privileged, with their every need catered to by somatic drugs, three-dimensional holovision and prolonged life. Uncumber lives in this luxurious world and is told that she must never go out into the dust and disease of the real world. Uncumber, however, is haunted by a restless and inquisitive spirit. When she falls in love with an Outsider, she decides to go exploring. . . Michael Frayn is the award-winning author of Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award, and Skios, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize. 'A fairy tale of the future. . . Frayn handles his observations and inventions brilliantly' Guardian

Headlong

Headlong

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/05/2012

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize Headlong begins when Martin Clay, a young would-be art historian, believes he has discovered a missing masterpiece. The owner of the painting is oblivious to its potential and asks Martin to help him sell it, leaving Martin with the chance of a lifetime: if he could only separate the painter from its owner, he would be able to perform a great public service, to make his professional reputation, perhaps even rather a lot of money as well. But is the painting really what Martin believes it to be? As Martin is drawn further into this moral and intellectual labyrinth, events start to spiral out of control . . . Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Whitbread Novel Award and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction, Headlong is an ingeniously comic thriller that follows a young philosophy lectuerer's obsessive race through the art world in search of an elusive masterpiece. Michael Frayn's other novels include Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel award, and Skios, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Travels with a Typewriter A Reporter at Large

Travels with a Typewriter A Reporter at Large

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2010

In mid-career, Michael Frayn took up his old trade of journalism, and wrote a series of occasional articles for the Observer about some of the places in the world that interested him. He wanted to describe 'not the extraordinary but the ordinary, the typical, the everyday', and his accounts became the starting point for some of the novels and plays he wrote later. From a kibbutz in Israel to summer rains in Japan, bicycles in Cambridge to Notting Hill at the end of the 1950s, they are glimpses of a world that sometimes seems tantalisingly familiar, sometimes vanished forever. Michael Frayn is the celebrated author of fifteen plays including Noises Off, Copenhagen and Afterlife. His bestselling novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award and Skios, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. All writers of fiction should be required by law to go out and do a bit of reporting from time to time, just to remind them how different the real world in front of their eyes is from the invented world behind them. Michael Frayn 'Whether he's on a kibbutz or a bicycle, Frayn makes acute observations and the writing is enchanting.' Conde Nast Traveller

Frayn Plays Copenhagen , Democracy and Afterlife

Frayn Plays Copenhagen , Democracy and Afterlife

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/07/2010

Michael Frayn is one of the great playwrights of our time, enjoying international acclaim and prestige. This anthology contains three of his strongest titles of serious drama: Copenhagen, Democracy and Afterlife. The volume features the definitive version of each play together with an introduction by the author and a chronology of his work. Copenhagen: 'The most invigorating and ingenious play of ideas in many a year and a work of art that humanizes physics in a way no other has done' New York Times 'Michael Frayn's tremendous new play is a piece of history, an intellectual thriller, a psychological investigation and a moral tribunal in full session.' Sunday Times 'A profound and haunting meditation on the mysteries of human motivation.' Independent Democracy: 'Michael Frayn's complex and richly rewarding new play...is wonderfully alert to the piquant paradoxes and ironic twists of this intensely tricky period in Germany's conversation with itself.' Independent 'What makes Frayn's play essential viewing is its Schiller-like grasp of practical politics' Guardian 'Michael Frayn's Democracy...is one of those rare dramas that don't just dare to think big but that fully translate their high aspirations to the stage, with sharp style and thrilling clarity' New York Times Afterlife: 'This play is almost literally brilliant - it glitters, shines and gleams with Frayn's trademark perceptive wit as it sends up the whole concept of theatre in the process of telling a strong, essentially tragic biographical story' The Stage

Spies

Spies

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2010

In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live the only immediate signs of the Second World War are the blackout at night and a single random bombsite. But the two boys start to suspect all is not as it seems when one day Keith announces a disconcerting discovery: the Germans have infiltrated his own family. And when the secret underground world they have dreamed up emerges from the shadows they find themselves engulfed in mysteries far deeper and more painful than they had bargained for. Winner of the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award.

Headlong

Headlong

Author: Michael Frayn Format: eBook Release Date: 17/06/2010

An unlikely con man wagers wife, wealth, and sanity in pursuit of one of art's elusive old masters. Martin Clay, an easily distracted philosopher, and his scrupulous art-historian wife are invited to dinner by a boorish local landowner to assess the value of three dusty paintings moldering in the freezing breakfast room. But blocking the soot from the chimney is nothing less, Martin believes, than one of the world's lost treasures, camouflaged by misattribution and the grime of centuries. Thus begins a wild trail of lies and concealments, soaring hopes and sudden panics, as Martin embarks on an obsessive quest to prove his hunch, separate the painting from its owner, and resolve one of the great mysteries of European art.

Stage Directions Writing on Theatre 1970-2008

Stage Directions Writing on Theatre 1970-2008

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/09/2009

Stage Directions covers half a lifetime and the whole range of Frayn's theatrical writing, right up to a new piece about his latest play, Afterlife. It is also a reflection on his path into theatre: the 'doubtful beginnings' of his childhood, his subsequent scorn as a young man and, surprisingly late in life, his reluctant conversion. Whatever subjects he tackles, from the exploration of the atomic nucleus to the mechanics of farce, Michael Frayn is never less than fascinating, delightfully funny and charming. This book encapsulates a lifetime's work and is guaranteed to be a firm favourite with his legions of fans around the world.

Alphabetical Order

Alphabetical Order

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/04/2009

Winner of the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award after its long run at the Hampstead Theatre and on the West End in 1975, Alphabetical Order is set in the library of a provincial newspaper where battle is joined between the forces of order and chaos, between arid organisation in the person of the new library assistant, Leslie, and humane confusion in the person of Lucy, the much-loved resident librarian. Drawing on his experience as a journalist, Frayn draws his gallery of characters with the hilarious accuracy which can only come from first-hand experience. This edition features the author's revised version of the script presented at the Hampstead Theatre in April 2009.

Constructions

Constructions

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2009

First published in 1974 and republished following the success of Frayn's masterly work of philosophy, The Human Touch, Constructions is a dazzling, thought-provoking and fascinating book which explores some of the great problems in philosophy and of everyday life.

Afterlife

Afterlife

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/06/2008

Afterlife is Michael Frayn's first new play for the National Theatre since Democracy, which premiered at the National in 2003 before West End and Broadway transfers. Afterlife opens in the NT Lyttelton in June. Investigating the life of the Austrian impresario and founder of the Salzburg Festival, Max Reinhardt, Afterlife is a grand epic and a highly theatrical work that will be directed by Frayn's long-term collaborator Michael Blakemore. With his morality play 'Everyman', Reinhardt captivated first the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg, and then the city itself, with the play opening the Salzburg festival each year from 1920 until the accession of the Nazis in 1938. As Reinhardt and his company are forced into exile, 'Everyman' is taken to America until life imitates art and Death comes for first Reinhardt's master of ceremonies and chief associate, Kommer, and then for Reinhardt himself.

Spies

Spies

Author: Michael Frayn, Angela Topping Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2008

The Human Touch Our Part in the Creation of a Universe

The Human Touch Our Part in the Creation of a Universe

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2007

What would that universe be like if human beings were not here to observe it? Would there be still be numbers, or scientific laws? Would the universe even be vast, without our tininess to give it scale? The author of award winning novels (such as Spies), plays (Copenhagen and Noises Off) and films (Clockwise) here produces his first work of non-fiction, one which explores all of the ideas behind his brilliant, funny and hugely popular work.

Spies: York Notes Advanced

Spies: York Notes Advanced

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 30/08/2007

For more than 25 years, York Notes have been helping students throughout the UK to get the inside track on the written word. Firmly established as the nation's favourite and most comprehensive range of literature study guides, each and every York Note has been carefully researched and written by experts to make sure that you get the most wide-ranging critical analysis, the most detailed commentary and the most helpful key points and checklists. York Notes Advanced offer a fresh and accessible approach to English Literature. Written by established literature experts, they introduce students to a more sophisticated analysis, a range of critical perspectives and wider contexts.

The Crimson Hotel and Audience

The Crimson Hotel and Audience

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/07/2007

In this absurdist comedy two lovers - a playwright and his lead actress - escape to a discreet and charming Parisian hotel, conjured from a desert landscape. As the walls, door and crimson curtains of Room 322 materialise around them, a fumbling of fastenings ensues. But they soon discover they're not the only couple intent on escaping from reality...The Crimson Hotel has its world premiere at the Donmar Warehouse Theatre, London, on 25 July 2007. The volume also features the one-act play, Audience, a delightful send-up which holds up a mirror to the outlandish behaviour and comedy inherent in every theatre audience.

Michael Frayn Collected Columns

Michael Frayn Collected Columns

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/06/2007

One of the funniest writers of his generation, Michael Frayn has been writing humorous newspaper columns since 1959, principally for the Guardian and Observer , and originally came to prominence as the thrice weekly purveyor of these short, surreal, razor-sharp explorations of human foibles, sex, politics, manners, and the events of the day. This volume brings together 110 of his finest and funniest pieces from over the years, selected and introduced by Michael Frayn himself, and is an unmissable treat for the many fans of his unique comic voice, as well as a revelation for fans of the award-winning literary novels and plays of his later career.

The Human Touch Our Part in the Creation of a Universe

The Human Touch Our Part in the Creation of a Universe

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Hardback Release Date: 21/09/2006

What would that universe be like if human beings were not here to observe it? Would there be still be numbers, or scientific laws? Would the universe even be vast, without our tininess to give it scale? This paradox is what Michael Frayn calls 'the world's oldest mystery'. In this book, with peerless wit and astonishing lucidity, he turns to confront mind boggling ideas head-on. The author of award winning novels (such as Spies), plays (Copenhagen and Noises Off) and films (Clockwise) here produces his first work of non-fiction, one which explores all of the ideas behind his brilliant, funny and hugely popular work.

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/10/2003

'Michael Frayn's tremendous play is a piece of history, an intellectual thriller, a psychological investigation and a moral tribunal in full session' Sunday Times 'A profound and haunting meditation on the mysteries of human motivation' Independent 'Frayn has seized on a ral-life historical and scientific mystery. In 1941 the physicist Werner Heisenberg, who formulated the famous Uncertainty Principle about the movement of particles, and was at that time leading the Nazi's nuclear programme, went to visit his old boss and mentor, Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen. What was the purpose of his visit to Nazi-occupied Denmark? What did the two old friends say to each other, particularly bearing in mind that Bohr was both half-Jewish and a Danish patriot?...Frayn argues that just as it is impossible to be certain of the precise location of an electron, so it is impossible to be certain about the workings of the human mind...What is certain is that Frayn makes ideas zing and sing in this play' Daily Telegraph

Democracy

Democracy

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/08/2003

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 totally dependent on everyone else. Not one Germany. Sixty million separate Germanies. The tower of Babel!Set in West Germany in 1969, DEMOCRACY follows Willy Brandt as he begins his brief but remarkable career as the first left-of-centre Chancellor for nearly forty years. Always present but rarely noticed is Gunter Guillaume, Brandt's devoted personal assistant - and no less devoted in his other role, spying on Brandt for the Stasi. Published to tie in with major new production at the Royal National Theatre directed by Michael Blakemore starring Roger Allam, Conleth Hill, Nicholas Blane, Jonathan Coy, Christopher Ettridge, Paul Gregory, Glyn Grain, Steven Pacey and David Ryall.

Now You Know

Now You Know

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/2003

Bit of a wide boy, Terry. Got a spot of form, eye for the ladies, a real rough diamond some might say. Not without his virtues, though, as his campaign for open government shows. No secrets, that's Terry's secret. Allied to charm, that is, of course. Only one person finds it easy to resist his charm and counter his arguments and that's Hilary - one of the serious and dedicated young Civil Servants working in the Home Office in Westminster, who just happens to know the truth about the case in which Terry is currently interested. She despises him and everything he stands for. But then why is she to be found one evening walking through the back streets behind the Strand, to the run-down block where Terry's pressure group has its headquarters? Now You Know takes on government campaigns, ambitious civil servants and determined pressure groups with Frayn's trade-mark wit. Michael Frayn's other novels include Headlong, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and Spies, which won the Whitbread Best Novel Award.

Celia's Secret The Copenhagen Papers

Celia's Secret The Copenhagen Papers

Author: Michael Frayn, David Burke Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2001

One day during the run of Michael Fryan's play Copenhagen, a curious letter arrived from a housewife in Chiswick. She enclosed a few faded pages of barely legible German which she thought might have some relevance to the mystery at the play's heart. They turned out to mark the start of a long and winding trail. The subject of Copenhagen is the strange visit that the German physicist, Werner Heisenberg, made to his former Danish colleague, Niels Bohr in 1941. The two old friends now found themselves on opposite sides in a world war, and Heisenberg could not explain to Bohr that he was running the Nazis' secret atomic programme. His intentions have intrigued and baffled historians, and the hitherto unpublished German documents which Celia Rhys-Evans now began to send Michael Frayn cast a remarkable new light on certain aspects of the story. The gradual emergence of these papers was followed with particularly close interest by the actor, David Burke, who was playing Niels Bohr, and who had happened to have a wide experience of documents of this sort. When it was all over David Burke and Michael Frayn sat down together, rather as Bohr and Heisenberg do in the play, to try to unravel the mystery, and, like Bohr and Heisenberg, to confront once again the eternal difficulty of knowing why we do what we do.

Frayn Plays Here ; Now You Know ; La Belle Vivette

Frayn Plays Here ; Now You Know ; La Belle Vivette

Author: Michael Frayn, Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/11/2000

The new collection from the author of the Booker-shortlisted novel Headlong and the internationally acclaimed play Copenhagen Here: about time, space and life...A touching, brilliant construction. It's both deeply thought and deeply felt' (Sunday Times); Now You Know: Frayn's light but serious, marvellous new play, about official and unofficial secrets, about idle curiosity and investigative purpose (Observer); La Belle Vivette: Frayn's elegant libretto...Michael Frayn has made an Offenbach opera a farce to be reckoned with...a razor-sharp reworking (Mail on Sunday) Michael Frayn was born in 1933 in the suburbs of London and began his career as a reporter on the Guardian, before becoming a columnist. His novels include The Tin Men, The Russian Interpreter, Towards the End of Morning and The Trick of It. He has written a number of plays for television and the stage, including translations of Chekhov and smash hits such as his screenplay Clockwise and his plays Donkeys' Years, Noises Off, Alarms and Excursions and Copenhagen.Deborah Levy does not deal with realism, she does not deal with magic realism, rather she draws out a new territory, and if we follow we will find ourselves suspended over views we have not seen before Jeanette Winterson, Observer

Noises Off

Noises Off

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2000

Noises Off is not one play but two - simultaneously a traditional sex farce, Nothing On, and the backstage farce that develops during Nothing On's final rehearsal and tour. The two farces begin to interlock, as the characters make their exits from Nothing On only to find themselves making entrances into the even worse nightmare going on backstage, and exit from that only to make their entrances back into Nothing On. In the end, at the disastrous final performance in Stockton-on-Tees, the two farces can be kept separate no longer, and coalesce into one single collective nervous breakdown. Noises Off won both the Evening Standard and the Olivier Awards for Best Comedy when it was first produced, and ran in the West End for nearly five years. Michael Frayn's most recent play, Copenhagen, won both the Evening Standard Best Play Award in London and the Tony Best Play Award in New York.

Spies

Spies

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/09/2000

Alarms and Excursions More Plays Than One

Alarms and Excursions More Plays Than One

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/04/2000

Eight short playlets, to be performed together in a single evening, examine with hilarity difficulties modern technology has added to life. In Alarms, two couples embark on a dinner party that is doomed to failure as, one by one, labor saving devices and even furniture become hostile. Doubles sees two couples having similar problems in adjacent hotel rooms. In Leavings, the dinner party is revisited to great amusement. In Look Away Now, passengers ignore the airline's safety lecture. Heart to Heart deals with the impossibility of communication at a noisy cocktail party. Glasnost presents a political speech that is sabotaged by a harassed autocue operator. Toasters shows the problems of trying to eat and work standing up at a social function. The last play, Immobiles, is acted out entirely over the phone as a couple try to decide where they should meet their German guests: Gatwick or Heathrow?

Alarms and Excursions More Plays Than One

Alarms and Excursions More Plays Than One

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/07/1998

Copenhagen

Copenhagen

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/06/1998

In 1941 the German physicist Werner Heisenberg made a strange trip to Copenhagen to see his Danish counterpart, Niels Bohr. They were old friends and close colleagues, and they had revolutionised atomic physics in the 1920s with their work together on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle. But now the world had changed, and the two men were on opposite sides in a world war. The meeting was fraught with danger and embarrassment, and ended in disaster. Why the German physicist Heisenberg went to Copenhagen in 1942 and what he wanted to say to the Danish physicist Bohr are questions which have exercised historians of nuclear physics ever since. In Michael Frayn's new play Heisenberg meets Bohr and his wife Margrethe once again to look for the answers, and to work out, just as they had once worked out the internal functioning of the atom, how we can ever know why we do what we do. 'Michael Frayn's tremendous new play is a piece of history, an intellectual thriller, a psychological investigation and a moral tribunal in full session.' Sunday Times

Now You Know

Now You Know

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/1996

Loveable - ex-petty-criminal - Terry runs a small charity organisation called OPEN, which campaigns for the freedom of information. his partner both at work and at weekends is Home Counties divorcee Jaqui who funds the charity from her own pocket and generally organoises the close-knit staff. When Hilary - a Civil Servant - arrives, with a highly-confidential Home Office file detailing the cover-up of a death in police custody, Terry is given a not obe missed opportunity. His increasingly close involvement with Hillary presents him with a personal and professional dilema, and exposes the fact that everyone in the office has something to hide. Originally presented at the Hamstead Thetra, starring Adam Faith, Now You Know was adapted from Frayn's own commic novel.

Now You Know Play

Now You Know Play

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/08/1995

One of theatre's subtlest, most sophisticated minds (The Times) Now You Know: Frayn's light but serious, marvellous play, about official and unofficial secrets, about idle curiosity and investigative purpose (Observer)

Frayn Plays Balmoral , Benefactors , Wild Honey

Frayn Plays Balmoral , Benefactors , Wild Honey

Author: Michael Frayn, Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/01/1992

One of theatre's subtlest, most sophisticated minds (The Times) Benefactors conjures the world of the suburbs observed through the lens of post-imperialism; dazzling. This prismatic work circumscribes the disillusionment of an era (New York Times); Balmoral dares to imagine what Britain would be like if it had gone through the Russian revolution in 1917; a sophisticated drollery, an educated amusement (New Statesman); Wild Honey is a reworking of Checkov's first play (also known as Platonov) and is shot through with farce, feminism and eroticism.

First and Last

First and Last

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/1989

One of theatre's subtlest, most sophisticated minds (The Times) One spring morning a quiet, shy man in his sixties sets out from Land's End to walk the length of his native land. He has never walked more than a dozen miles in his life before, his health is uncertain, his boots are new, and he is too diffident to talk to anyone he meets along the way. His slow, solitary progress up the spine of Britain is watched by an unseen audience - his family and friends at home. How far will he get before he is forced to give up? Is he being heroic or merely selfish? As the days of his absence go by the old alliances and quarrels inside the family shift and alter. What emerges is a story about the arbitrariness of human endeavour and about the tenacious complexity of human relationships; about one man's glimpse of the country he lives in; about courage and about love.First and Last was directed by Alan Dossor in a production for BBC television, with Joss Ackland as the walker.

Frayn Plays Alphabetical Order , Donkeys' Years , Clouds , Make and Break , Noises Off

Frayn Plays Alphabetical Order , Donkeys' Years , Clouds , Make and Break , Noises Off

Author: Michael Frayn, Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 12/12/1985

One of theatre's subtlest, most sophisticated minds (The Times) Alphabetical Order: A comic essay about two types of woman...a very intelligent comedy because of its classic simplicity, and unusual in the way that the two types of women do not become stereotypes (Daily Telegraph); Donkeys' Years, a satire on the establishment and British Institutions Gorgeous farce, all the funnier for emerging from credible aspirations and natural anxieties...the play is richer and cannier than we expect farces to be. (New Statesman); Clouds, is a satire on government sponsored trips and a portrait of sexual jealousy, it is poignantly and unerringly funny (Guardian); Make and Break is a satirical commentary on British corporate interests abroad Full of pain, ruthless observation, and a sense of humour which is sardonic, lunatic and warm (Sunday Times); Noises Off - the West End hit play about a company of actors stepping from a sex farce into their own nightmarish lives backstage A very intelligent joke about the fragility of all forms of drama...a pulverisingly funny play. (Guardian) All of these plays are attempts to show something of the world, not to change it or to promote any particular idea of it. That's not to say there are no ideas in them. In fact what they are all about in one way or another is the way in which we impose our ideas upon the world around us...it might be objected that one single theme is a somewhat sparse provision to sustain five separate and dissimilar plays. I can only say that it is a theme which has occupied philosophers for over two thousand years and one which is likely to occupy them for at least two thousand more... (Michael Frayn)

Noises Off

Noises Off

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/12/1982

Called the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing's On. Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play. The play opens with a touring company dress-rehearsing Nothing On, a conventional farce. Mixing mockery and homage, Frayn heaps into this play-within-a-play a hilarious melee of stock characters and situations.

Donkey's Years

Donkey's Years

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/12/1977

At a reunion dinner are a number of graduates now in their early forties and mostly in responsible, influential positions. All starts smoothly with conventional greetings and old boy reminiscences. A slightly discordant note is struck by Snell, a man of such insignificance that everyone has forgotten him, and continues to forget him from one moment to the next. As the night goes on, the college port causes behaviour surprising in those in positions of political, academic or spiritual authority. Into the resulting bear garden stumbles Lady Driver, the Master's wife who is short sightedly searching for the lost love of her youth. The insignificant Snell sees in her the chance to make up for all the opportunities of undergraduate life he missed before.

Spies

Spies

Author: Michael Frayn Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/05/1970

It's wartime Britain, and Stephen's friend Keith makes the momentous announcement that his mother is a German spy. Determined to find the truth, the two boys begin to spy on the 'spy'. The boys discover that Keith's mother does have secrets to hide, but they are not the ones they had suspected. Ideal for critical analysis of a substantial piece of prose; vocabulary, narrative technique, rhetorical devices and moral depth. Whitbread / Costa Book Award winning title.

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