Breaking The Code: The Alan Turing Story *Review*

This past weekend I was invited to attend the return engagement (It had a very successful run earlier in the year) of ‘Breaking The Code: The Alan Turing Story’. If you’ve never heard of Alan Turing, don’t fret, neither had I. There was also a TV movie made about Mr. Turing and his life back in 1996 starring Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, Underworld, The King’s Speech) and was then adapted into a motion picture on the big screen starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which was widely successful.

Alan was many things: a mathematician, a computer scientist and a homosexual just to name a few. He was highly influential in his day and played a crucial role in cracking the Nazi’s Enigma Code, which aided in their defeat. He is also widely responsible for the invention of computers and computer intelligence with a machine he simply named the Turing Machine. He was prosecuted in the early 50’s for his homosexuality and instead of serving jail time had instead agreed to take oestrogen injections, which at the time was thought to curb homosexual tendencies.

Now that I’ve given you a little bit of backstory. The show is quite long, so keep that in mind if you plan on having dinner or going out afterwards. It runs a little over 2 hours and has an intermission about half way through so it’s close to about 2 1/2 hours altogether. Surprisingly, however, for a show that is quite mellow in it’s content, it flows very well and doesn’t drag along and the acting was all very well done. I’m not sure how many of the actors have REAL accents, but I guess that’s a testament to how well they all actually pulled them off if their accents weren’t authentic. Most of Hollywood could/should take lessons from these guys. John Fisher who plays our Turing does incredibly well in his portrayal of the eccentric genius, not that I’m an expert or anything, but from what I Googled and watched in clips from other productions, his performance holds up just as well if not better than his big screen counterparts. The cast is small. There are only seven other actors (with one of them Heren Patel playing two separate characters) in the entire production so each has a pretty big role. Never was there a flubbed line or any awkward pauses, these folks are all pros. The set and the costumes are simple, but this play is about the story, which is an important one. Nothing glitzy or glamorous, nor was Mr. Turing’s life.

I don’t like to give away too much of the show or experience when I do my reviews. I like going into these shows, especially the ones like this that I know very little about the story or the actors or even the venue (this was my first time at Eureka Theatre, it’s very cute and charming. Theatre Rhinoceros (who put the show on) is also the world’s longest running queer theatre!) and just immerse myself in what’s happening. I recommend checking this one out if you are into gay history, computers, mathematics etc. Some of the jokes and conversations won’t make a lot of sense if you aren’t familiar with these topics, but even if you aren’t and just want to witness some brilliant acting you should check it out. Also, I wouldn’t be doing my job as a gay entertainment blogger if I didn’t at least mention that Turing’s love interest in the show, Ron, played by Frank Wang, is very attractive and shirtless. So you also have that to look forward to as well!

Breaking The Code: The Alan Turing Story by Hugh Whitemore                                                                                                                                     Eureka Theatre – 215 Jackson Street, San Francisco 94111                                                                                                                                                 August 5 – 29th – 2015 

For More Information & To Buy Tickets Click Here! or Call 1-800-838-3006

 

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Posted on: August 18th, 2015 by Joey Heal No Comments

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