A play by KCL students, performed on 14/15/16 March, 7pm.
I’m your enemy; I’m also your friend. I’m a danger to mankind; I’m also your guest. I’m a particle; I’m also a wave.
In the first production from the School of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at King’s College London, memory, guilt and nuclear physics are thrown together in an explosive play about the uncertain nature of the universe – and of our own minds.
1924: Two physicists, Niels Bohr and his soon-to-be protégé Wernher Heisenberg, come together at a conference. They go on to lay the groundwork for a second Enlightenment, the foundation of modern physics.
1941: With Copenhagen under German occupation, Heisenberg – now chief scientist on the Nazi atomic research programme – visits his old friend Bohr, and Bohr’s wife Margrethe. What was said remains unknown, but the conversation ended the closest friendship in physics and nobody, not even those who were present, has ever been able to answer the question: Why did Heisenberg come to Copenhagen?
In an afterlife where the three characters can move freely through their pasts, Michael Frayn’s play delves into that question, and in doing so explores collaboration and complicity, self-knowledge and self-deception, and how we distort our own motives and memories. Who is to blame for the atomic bomb – for bringing a beleaguered world to the precipice of annihilation? What is right in times of war, when your life, the lives of your loved ones, hang in the balance?