Following the recent 70th anniversary celebrations of VE Day, Idle Motion’s That Is All You Need To Know brings the untold story of Bletchley Park to Cast, Doncaster on Wednesday 17 June in a stunning piece of visual theatre.
Total Theatre Award nominated Idle Motion takes the audience back to 1940s England and the melting pot of Britain’s greatest minds; to the eccentric country house whose grounds, filled with chess champions, Oxbridge graduates and young debutantes. Among these were the visionary Alan Turing (recently 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 to critical acclaim. They integrate playful stagecraft with innovative video projection to create highly visual theatre that places human stories at the heart of the 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.
Alan Turing was prosecuted for his homosexuality in 1952, Idle Motion learned about his life and subsequent premature death (while researching chaos theory for The Seagull Effect) before he was 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 Idle Motion 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 war and for most of their lives, and this was the story the company wanted to tell.
Artistic Director Paul Slater read Gordon Welchman’s ‘The Hut Six Story- Breaking the Enigma Codes’, first published in 1982 and written in the 1970s. This book was one of the earliest memoirs of life at the park to be published after the ‘secret’ history came out in 1974. The style of the writing in and the insights it gave to the life and work 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; including Turing’s 1952 “Yours in distress” letter to his friend and fellow mathematician 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.