Aberystwyth Law lecturer’s play about Alan Turing wows at Edinburgh Fringe

Gwydion Rhys and François Pandolfo.  Photography by Keith Morris

Gwydion Rhys and François Pandolfo. Photography by Keith Morris

13 August 2015

Catrin Fflur Huws’ ground-breaking play about the life of computing genius and code breaker Alan Turing is now playing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival after wowing audiences in Wales and London and receiving glittering reviews.

‘To Kill a Machine’ takes a fresh, and less romanticised, look at the often tortured life of Turing whose homosexuality and its ‘treatment’ by those in authority ultimately drove him to commit suicide.

It was a trip to Bletchley Park four years ago that triggered the creative impulse in Catrin, which resurfaced when she attended a writing course run by Cardiff’s Sherman Cymru in conjunction with Aberystwyth’s Arts Centre.

Catrin says:  ‘Part of the process was that we split into groups and had to come up with ideas for a play.  During my visit to Bletchley I’d been powerfully affected by Turing’s life story, and also by his own writings that touch upon areas such as artificial intelligence and gender. 

‘I wanted to write a play about Turing the man, not Turing the genius.  I’ve used some of his own work - particularly about machines thinking - to try and illustrate some of the complexities and illusions around gender.  I was very conscious that I was writing about someone’s life, their own life, and that it isn’t some fictional character.’

Directed by Angharad Lee and produced by Sandra Bendelow of Aberystwyth’s Scriptography Productions, the play has received funding from Arts Council Wales, while Cwmni Arad Goch and Aberystwyth Arts Centre provided further support and rehearsal space.

To Kill A Machine is at Edinburgh Fringe Festival until August 31st at Zoo Aviary Venue 124, every night except Tuesday.  You can book tickets here.