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Alan Turing - The Man and the Enigma

8 September 2015

Based on the book, Alan Turing - The Enigma by Andrew Hodges, the latest production by Havant’s award winning Bench Theatre is Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking The Code, which examines the life of one of Britain’s most brilliant figures and the man whose mathematical genius led to the development of the modern computer.

Alan Turing was a key player in the team that broke the Germans’ Enigma code which had baffled British military forces and by so doing he helped shorten the war by some two years saving countless lives.

Whitemore’s play examines Turing’s complex life with deep compassion, gentle humour and brutal honesty. He catalogues his life with reference to his time at Bletchley Park, his often difficult personal and professional relationships and the conflict between his work and the struggle with his homosexuality at a time when it was deemed illegal behaviour.

First performed in 1986 at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford, the play quickly moved to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, where Derek Jacobi received great acclaim for his portrayal of Turing. Jacobi transferred to the Broadway adaptation where the play received awards nominations including Best Actor and Best Play.

Breaking the Code was adapted for television in 1996 with Jacobi reprising the role of Alan Turing.

For this production, seasoned performer Jonathon Abbott makes his Bench Theatre debut in the challenging Turing role.

Performed by a cast of eight, this production is directed by Alan Ward, whose previous credits include Look Back in Anger, for which he received a Best Director nomination at the Southampton Echo Awards in 2012.

Alan Ward said, ‘I’m a huge fan of Hugh Whitemore’s work and in Breaking the Code, he successfully delivers an accurate reflection of the narrow minded attitudes of the post WW2 era and captures the catastrophic effect it had on a truly brilliant man’.

In 2012, Alan Turing Year marked the worldwide celebration of the life and scientific influence during the centenary of his birth. The critically acclaimed film, The Imitation Game, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Turing, was rewarded with an Academy Award and brought Alan Turing’s legacy to a wider audience making this previously little known genius a household name.

Breaking The Code will be performed over two weeks at the Spring Arts Centre, Havant, from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 September, daily at 7.30pm with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm then from Wednesday 23 to Saturday 26 September daily at 7.30 pm.

Tickets cost £9.50 (concessions £7.50) for evening performances and £8.50 (concessions £6.50) for the matinee performance. A Buy 1 Get 1 Free offer is available via the Box Office on 02392 472700 for the performance on Thursday 17 September.


For further information please contact:

Marion Ward on