Breaking the Code

I don’t normally write reviews, but I went to see such a brilliant play yesterday that I feel compelled to let everyone know about it. Partly to give credit to the production, but also to highlight that we have a great venue on our doorstep that is well worth a visit.
On Saturday night I was lucky enough to go and see the closing night of “Breaking the Code’ at Chorley Little Theatre. Chorley Little Theatre has been owned by CADOS since 1960, and I am already looking forward to their next production, which is ’39 Steps.
This is their blurb from their website about Breaking the Code…
Drama by Hugh Whitemore
Directed by Mark Jones
Produced by Ian Ormonroyd
The heart-breaking true story of Alan Turing, the mathematical genius who cracked the German Enigma code and helped Britain win Would War II and widely considered the father of modern computing.
Openly gay in a time when homosexuality was illegal in Great Britain, his behaviour was tolerated and Churchill gave him every resource needed to crack the code. But once the war was over, the system caught up with him as his superiors began to regard him as a security risk.
This play tells the story of Turing’s times at Bletchley Park and Manchester University, the family who supported him, the people he loved and lost, and the colleagues who admired him. It’s a fascinating drama about someone grappling with the scientific and personal sides of his personality, and the troubled life of a creative thinker who helped shape the 20th Century.
This production reunites the award-winning director and star of last year’s Hound of the Baskervilles.
Turing – Dave Reid
Ross – Chris Franic
Christopher/Nikos – Danny Almond
Sara – Zoe Duffin-Jones
Ron – Robert Walsh
Knox – David Walker
Pat – Zoe Hale

I have to say that the cast were absolutely brilliant, and special mention has to be made of Dave Reid who played Alan, I think he captured him perfectly. As a computer scientist I have always felt a special affinity with those who were at the beginning of the computing era, and I love learning more about the people behind the technologies. It’s a shame that such a brilliant man as Alan Turing died so young, and lived a somewhat tragic life due to the short sightedness and lack of toleration of the times.
I’d love to take all my students to a visit to Bletchley Park, logistics of taking nearly 200 students there has meant that I haven’t quite made it yet, but it is definitely on the to do list.

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