Intelligent theatre at its very best

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Breaking the Code

Chorley Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Soc

Chorley Little Theatre

Dramatic music opened thi

Dramatic music opened this amazing production, directed by Mark Jones. Hugh Whitmore’s 1986 play about Alan Turing – the man who cracked the Enigma code enabling us to win WW2 and went on to help invent the digital computer – has an outstanding script.

Turing was a scientific and mathematical genius who was ultimately condemned by the establishment for having had a relationship with a man. It is difficult to believe that this happened in our lifetime.

Thank goodness times have changed, although there are still people who need to be convinced that homosexuality is not a sin.

The scenes flit between times, from WW2 to the 1950s – a device with which some of the cast coped better than others.

Zoe Duffin – Jones and Danny Almond played Turing’s mother, Sara, and his childhood friend, Christopher – two very important people in his life – as did Dilly Knox (David Walker) and Pat Green (Zoe Hale) – his colleagues at Bletchley Park.

Ron was the young man with whom he had a relationship; Robert Walsh acted well enough to make us all dislike him. He stole money from Turing and then lied about it – altogether an unsavoury character who turned out to be the indirect cause of Turing’s downfall.

Chris Franic could have put more enthusiasm into the role of Detective Sergeant Ross, the policeman who interviews Turing throughout the play.

His lines were barely audible, as were those of Zoe Hale and some of David Walker’s.

I must single out Dave Reid in his role of Turing.

He was nothing short of superb and I take my hat off to him for such a moving and convincing portrayal, especially at the beginning of Act 2 when I was totally absorbed in his ‘lecture’ describing the logic of a computer.

Although pardoned posthumously in 2013 for his ‘crime’ it came too late to stop Turing taking his own life in 1954.

Intelligent theatre at its best. Shame on the establishment! It runs until 1 March 1.

Jenny Robson