Frayn, Michael

Frayn, Michael,

1933–, English playwright and novelist, b. London. After graduating from Cambridge he worked as a reporter and columnist for the Manchester Guardian and the Observer. As a playwright he is probably best known for Noises Off (1982, film 1992), a farce within a farce concerning an English traveling theater troupe. His other notable plays include the dramas Copenhagen (1998, Tony Award), about a meeting between BohrBohr, Niels Henrik David
, 1885–1962, Danish physicist, one of the foremost scientists of modern physics. He studied at the Univ. of Copenhagen (Ph.D. 1911) and carried on research on the structure of the atom at Cambridge under Sir James J.
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 and HeisenbergHeisenberg, Werner
, 1901–76, German physicist. One of the founders of the quantum theory, he is best known for his uncertainty principle, or indeterminacy principle, which states that it is impossible to determine with arbitrarily high accuracy both the position and
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 and the moral questions surrounding the atomic bomb, and Democracy (2003), about the devotion and disloyalty of an East German spy working as an aide to West German chancellor Willy BrandtBrandt, Willy
, 1913–92, German political leader. His name originally was Karl Herbert Frahm. Active in his youth in the Social Democratic party, after Adolf Hitler came to power (1933) he fled to Norway and began a journalistic career, soon becoming a Norwegian citizen.
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. Among his other plays are Clouds (1976), Donkeys' Years (1977), Benefactors (1984), Look Look (1990), Here (1993), and Afterlife (2008). He has also written screenplays and scripts for television. Frayn's novels include The Tin Men (1965), The Russian Interpreter (1966), A Very Private Life (1968), A Landing on the Sun (1991), Now You Know (1992), Headlong (1999), Spies (2002), and Skios (2012). His nonfiction books concerning philosophy are Constructions (1974) and The Human Touch (2006); his travel pieces are collected in Travels with a Typewriter (2009), and his theater pieces in Stage Directions (2008).


See his memoir, My Father's Fortune (2010); study by M. Moseley (2006).