Famed computer pioneer and code-cracker gets his own musical tribute.
At first blush, the idea of a musical based on the life of Alan Turing just... well, it doesn't compute. But the show has already passed the (Turing) test with sell-out performances at Edinburgh Fringe. Now it's coming to London, specifically Riverside Studios in Hammersmith.
Alan Turing — a Musical Biography will "show the full breadth of his journey - from the loss of his closest friend at school, to his time at Bletchley Park, a romance with a fellow worker, and the growing awareness of his homosexuality, plus the crucial moment he realises he knows how to beat the German's Enigma Machine". It's directed by Jane Miles, with music by Joel Goodman and Jan Osborne, script by Joan Greening, and starring Joe Bishop as Turing and Zara Cooke in multiple roles.
Turing, of course, not only cracked the Nazi's code (saving countless lives), but also made pioneering advances in computer science that helped tee-up the modern age. His war heroics didn't save him from the anti-homosexuality laws of the time, though. His conviction and appalling treatment by the State may well have contributed to his suspected suicide aged just 41.
These days, Turing is hardly an 'unsung' hero, with a major Hollywood biopic, the huge museum of Bletchley Park and numerous statues, plaques and memorials to his name. But he's never literally 'sung', and that's where this musical comes in.
Alan Turing — A Musical Biography is on at Riverside Studios, Hammersmith between 8-27 January 2024. Let's hope it doesn't Bombe (#geekjoke).