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To Kill a Machine at Blackwood Miners Institute ????? Catrin Fflur Huws' work is a much more hard-hitting and accurate look at the life and work of Alan Turing in an entertaining and gripping one-act play than the sanitised films that have been doing the rounds.

Backed by a worldwide crowdfunding campaign, the play has been fully developed from earlier manifestations but clearly has its roots in a work that relies on the strength of the writing, production and handful of mesmerising performers.

It takes the form of a game show, The Imitation Game, that is also its mantra, its theme. That game is where someone has to work out a man and a woman's gender purely from answers they give to questions.

It forms the basis of computing and other mathematical systems but also shifts perfectly into other questions over whether it is a game show or a trial. Do we uncover truth or do we even want truth? Can we tell a human from a machine? Which do we want to be? Gwydion Rhys gave a Turing ' towering performance Skillfully and sympathetically directed by Angharad Lee, the game show cut with biographical scenes enables a fast paced way of shifting time and space by turning making episodes in his life into rounds in the game, which rotates like the cogs on the machines Turing developed to solve the German wartime codes. The author tells us that the play was also influenced by the film Cabaret and this wave of weaving "real-life" stories into a stage show (the play within the play sort of thing) works exceptionally well.

as Al' Gwydion Rhys gave a towering performance as Alan Turing and the portrayal is someone who would now be regarded as an autistic person and respected as such. In fact, it is his autism rather than sexuality that is most striking in this play.

The rest of the cast played a range of roles with Robert Harper one of the game show hosts and also the chillingly matter of fact Interrogator without the role descending into panto baddie.

Rick Yale played the second game show host, government agent and casual sexual partner, switching effortlessly between the deeply contrasting roles.

Francois Pandolfo charmed as the apparent love of Turing's life, Christopher, his brother John and was the voice of those who compromise to survive.

Sensational theatre. Mike Smith

Gwydion Rhys gave a towering performance as Alan Turing '

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 15, 2015
Words:405
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