Breaking The Code
Directed by Mike Nower
Alan Turing was the father of modern computers, whose work at Bletchley Park during WWII helped save Britain by breaking the German Enigma code. Yet despite his brilliance, he was shunned by his country after breaking another code, the English code of sexual discretion, by refusing to disguise his homosexuality at a time when it was illegal. His uncompromising stance may have helped him achieve his scientific goals, but it was also his personal undoing.
Hugh Whitemore tells Turing’s story in this mesmerising play, combining humour with compassion, and skilfully interweaving different timescales to build up a complete picture of Turing and those around him.
During the war we see the code breaking genius at work; given personal authority by Churchill himself for all the resources he needs. After the war we see Turing’s continuing passion for research as he develops the modern computer; at the same time getting progressively entangled in the law after he confesses to his homosexuality.
The play provides real insight into the dilemmas faced by a genius who refused to compromise his personal standpoint; not just by the man himself, but by his family, his professional colleagues and The State’s preoccupation with national security.