Paul T Davies reviews Alan Turing A Musical Biography presented at Paradise in Augustines as part of the Edinburgh Fringe.
Alan Turing A Musical Biography
Paradise in Augustines – The Sanctuary
Government homophobia and persecution is, of course, part of the death and downfall of Alan Turing, the man whose genius brought World War Two to an end. Autistic, gay, and a genius, he endured chemical castration rather than go to prison following his conviction for homosexuality, and died eating a poisoned apple.
Returning after their successful run last year, Early Mornings production has a lot to fit in in its 70 minutes, and the framing device of a biographer up for an award for her book about Turing is a clumsy way to deliver the exposition, she is unsympathetic as a character, and that her brother, Ben, was similar to Turing feels a little contrived.
However, there are many positives to the show, not least the beautiful score by Joel Goodman and Jan Osbourne and the performances. Joe Bishop is superb as Turing, showing clear development and the complexity of the man. Zara Cooke shows great versitality and covers a range of characters with conviction, and they both sing beautifully. It feels as if the show is pushing against the constraints of the Fringe a little and could do with a larger cast and another act to fully do justice to the man.