Breaking the Code

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Fireside Theatre, 1987 - Drama - 112 pages
3 Reviews
Drama / 7m, 2f / Unit set

Derek Jacobi took London and Broadway by storm in this exceptional biographical drama about a man who broke too many codes: the eccentric genius Alan Turing who played a major role in winning the World War II; he broke the complex German code called Enigma, enabling allied forces to foresee German maneuvers. Since his work was classified top secret for years after the war, no one knew how much was owed to him when he was put on trial for breaking another code the taboo against homosexuality. Turing, who was also the first to conceive of computers, was convicted of the criminal act of homosexuality and sentenced to undergo hormone treatments which left him physically and mentally debilitated. He died a suicide, forgotten and alone. This play is about who he was, what happened to him and why.

"Powerful, rivetting drama." N.Y. Daily News

"Elegant and poignant." Time Magazine

"The most important serious play of the season." Christian Science Monitor

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Cecilturtle - LibraryThing

It's always a bit of a challenge to read a play without having seen it. This one is particularly difficult because it skips in time from childhood to war efforts and post war events and back again ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A play about Alan Turing and his code-breaking activities. It focuses on both the mathematics and on his homosexuality, but does not render the latter in a prurient or leering way as many do. The ... Read full review


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About the author (1987)

Hugh Whitemore began his career in British television, writing many original plays and dramatizations. He has also written for American TV, including a four-hour film about the Alger Hiss case, Concealed Enemies, which won an Emmy Award for the best mini-series. His most recent work, The Gathering Storm, won the 2002 Emmy Award for outstanding writing, two Golden Globes, and the Writers Guild of American Award.

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