Written By: Freddy Syborn
Reviewer: Samantha Currie
The Public Reviews Rating:
2012 marks a century since the birth of English mathematician Alan Turing. He’s known for cracking the German Enigma code during WWII which helped to save the lives of countless allied servicemen and civilians.
In the 1950′s he was prosecuted for gross indecency, as at this time homosexuality was still unlawful. His death at the age of 41 was attributed to suicide, eating a cyanide laced apple, although this has since been called into question. Was it instead an accident during a scientific experiment? Crypted examines the man, his intelligence and whether his struggles in love led to his death.
Freddy Syborn’s script is skilfully written and beautifully delivered by the small cast of six. This is a study of Turing’s three closest relationships – with his mother, his lover and his fiancée, all of which are uncomfortable and tortured.
Turing is played by a woman, (Harriet Green) – both as a boy and a man. Her portrayal of his genius, struggles with his sexuality and lack of social skills is mesmerising. The hunch of his shoulders and his awkwardness are minutely observed. The rest of the cast are equally strong and work well together. The characters of his mother, his schoolboy friend Chris, and his fiancée Joan are acted well and are believable. The only note of criticism would be the use of a puppet to represent the young Alan which seems an unnecessary device, it jars a little.
A heartbreaking story, made even more poignant since a parliamentary bill has recently been launched to grant Turing a posthumous pardon for his conviction, this is a professional production, an accomplished and polished piece of theatre.
Runs until 26th AugustEdinburgh Fringe: Crypted - C Nova,