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Breaking The Code (Acting Edition)

3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
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 manoeuvres. Since his work was classified top secret for years after the war ...more
Paperback, 72 pages
Published 2013 by Samuel French Ltd (first published 1986)
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Alan Turing is known as the man who broke the Germans' Enigma code during the Second World War. A brilliant mathematician, he is also considered the father of computer science. His personal life also harboured secrets; namely, that he preferred men over women in his choice of romantic partners. At the time, homosexuality was still illegal in Britain, so once his lifestyle was made known to the police, he was charged with gross indecency and forced to undergo chemical castration. He eventually di ...more
Feb 05, 2013 jennifer rated it really liked it
British mathematician Alan Turing reports the burglary of his house to the police. Under questioning he tries to give the detective information about whom he suspects of the crime, but the detective can tell Turing is lying and the investigation leads to further questioning. Turing becomes flustered and admits to having an affair with one of the suspects. It's 1951, homosexuality is illegal, and Turing's admission leads to a conviction and chemical castration for the man who had been awarded an ...more
Jamie Johnston
Aug 20, 2011 Jamie Johnston rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I haven't actually read this but saw it on stage in a good amateur production. Not bad but there were times when it seemed Turing's speeches were the playwright making observations about the themes and structure of Turing's life rather than something the character would say about himself. Also I felt the play concentrated on his homosexuality as a major feature of his life to the exclusion of his possible autism and depression (which are important in themselves and also arguably have more to do ...more
Sep 12, 2012 Jeanne rated it really liked it
Alan Turing, a mathematical cryptographic genius, who laid the foundation to create a computer to decipher the German enigma code (used during WWII to send messages) is then prosecuted and demonized because of his homosexuality. Turing committed suicide two years after his chemical castration as punishment for his homosexuality and 'til this day has not been pardoned for being gay. There is petition to grant a pardon for Alan Turing (, but it's only open ...more
I love Alan Turing (learning about him was the only thing I retained from high school algebra) and I love plays about forgotten pockets of history and I love behind-the-scenes WWII stuff, but this just didn't do it for me. Maybe if I saw it onstage, hearing an actor's voice would lend urgency to the words, or if I had read it when it first came out, knowing less of the story, it would have struck me as more daring or more innovative. As it is, I just nodded along, was upset at the end, and when ...more
Feb 22, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
A biography of the English mathematician Alan Turing, who was one of the inventors of the digital computer and one of the key figures in the breaking of the Enigma code, used by the Germans to send secret orders to their U-boats in World War II. Turing was also a homosexual in Britain at a time when this was illegal, besides being a security risk.

A movie was made based on this play and it's available at YouTube.
Today, while we know that coming out and homosexuality is more accepted than it was,
we still know that it is not as accepted as it should be. What we tend to forget is how non-existence was.

Breaking the Code is the storyabout “the fall” of Allan Turning, he of enigma fame. It concerns his struggle with how society sees his homosexuality. At times funny
and more often emotional, this LA Theatre Works production is well worth listening
Dec 08, 2013 Steven rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays, history, british
Breaking The Code tells the story of a mathematical genius, Alan Turing who, seconded to the top secret Bletchley Park England during World War II, was responsible for designing the first computer, which enabled the allies to crack the German Enigma code and, some would argue, win the war. It was on Churchill's specific instructions that Turing was given all the resources he required - and his personal behavior tolerated: Turing was a practicing homosexual at a time when it was illegal.
Lindsay Wilson
May 05, 2015 Lindsay Wilson rated it liked it
Shelves: plays
Powerful in its depiction of Turing's life and struggle, but suffers somewhat during the sometimes overly verbose scenes. It's hard to hold an audience's attention in a play with so little action, especially when so much of the dialogue is mathematical or technical. Done right, it can be surprisingly good, but it's a definite challenge.
Aug 10, 2007 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: drama
I love this play. Based on the book "Alan Turing and the Enigma Code" by Andrew Hodges, it is a dramatization about the man who broke the german enigma code during WW2. A fascinating and brilliant personality, he struggles with his need to break the enigma code and his own sexuality. 7 Men, 2 Women.
Nov 08, 2012 Timothy rated it did not like it
Shelves: plays
I was very excited to hear that there was a play about Alan Turing, but I was quite disappointed after reading this. The characters all felt very one dimensional and I didn't appreciate the writing at all.
Dec 13, 2015 Nancy marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: biography
I got quite interested in Turing so asked for almost every book my library had on him. This one turned out to be a play. It might actually be a good play but as a book, I just could not get into it. If you enjoy reading plays it might be up your alley to read it.
Kristy Madden
Nov 22, 2016 Kristy Madden rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking and moving. It's amazing how dogma can elbow aside all human compassion. Turing was a hero and a genius, but that didn't help spare him from petty persecution. I consider this a must read.
Feb 07, 2015 Adam rated it it was ok
Shelves: play, ww2_40s
The Imitation Game is not a million miles away from this playscript so I guess this laid the groundwork. Interesting and thought-provoking but not knock-your-socks-off.
David Wesson
Jun 18, 2015 David Wesson rated it really liked it
Brilliant script, got a sense of the man- his mind and his heart
Hunniya rated it it was ok
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