Following the recent 70th anniversary celebrations of VE Day, Idle Motion’s That Is All You Need To Know tells the story of Bletchley Park at Cast, Doncaster on Wednesday 17 June in a stunning piece of visual theatre.
Total Theatre Award nominated Idle Motion takes the audience back to the eccentric country house filled with chess champions, Oxbridge graduates and young debutantes of 1940s England; the melting pot of Britain’s greatest minds.
Among these were the visionary Alan Turing (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in Oscar nominated The Imitation Game), the exceptional Gordon Welchman, and the thousands of dynamic women whose work was the hidden heroism of the war.
Idle Motion are one of the countries leading visual theatre companies who tour nationally and internationally, producing highly visual theatre that places human stories at the heart of their work. Their humorous and sensitive past productions include the Edinburgh Fringe Sell-Out Borges and I, and The Seagull Effect exploring a couple’s crumbling relationship as Britain is hit by the unexpected 1987 storm.
During their research, Idle Motion learned about Alan Turing who, as a result of being prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1952, took his own life two years later and was recently posthumously pardoned in 2013. Fascinated by this British mathematician, cryptologist and co-author of the foundations of computer science, the Idle Motion team intended to base their next work on his life story.
Following research into Turing’s incredible work during the Second World War at Bletchley Park and visits to the site itself, the team realised that Bletchley Park was full of astounding stories and people. What stood out most remarkably was that the thousands of people who worked there, kept it all a secret throughout the most of their lives, and this was the story the company wanted to tell.
As research continued, Artistic Director, Paul Slater read Gordon Welchman’s ‘The Hut Six Story- Breaking the Enigma Codes’, which was first published in 1982 and written in the 1970s. Welchman’s book was one of the earliest memoirs of life at the park that was published after the ‘secret’ history came out in 1974. The style of writing and insights held in the memoirs, provided an ideal foundation to the wider story of the park itself and the structure of That Is All You Need To Know.
That Is All You Need to Know incorporates correspondence such as Turing’s 1952 “Yours in distress” letter to his friend, Norman Routledge shortly before pleading guilty to gross indecency and voice overs of interviews with veterans who worked there during the war from the Bletchley Park archives .
Using personal testimony and multimedia on a stage busy with filing cabinets and typewriters, That is All You Need to Know is an insightful, innovative and immersive celebration of the remarkable men and women who cracked the Enigma code. The play is a celebration of humanities ability to solve the impossible, to crack the most complex of problems, and of the extraordinary people whose quiet work changed the course of our history.
Tickets for That Is All You Need To Know on Wednesday 17 June at 7.30pm are £15 adults / £13 concessions* available from Cast’s Box Office on 01302 303 959 or castindoncaster.com.
*Includes 50p per ticket booking fee, not charged if paying by cash