Chronicling the life of the great mathematician Alan Turing, Breaking the Code at Salisbury Playhouse is a compelling and poignant production.

Hugh Whitemore’s play moves beyond just retelling his story in terms of breaking the German Enigma Code at Bletchley Park during the Second World War, by also exploring the persecution Turing faced over his sexuality in 1950s Britain.

Edward Bennett was superb in the title role. He commanded the stage as the fast talking, eccentric genius with a slight stammer and a playful demeanour .

Set designer James Button has cleverly used a series of letters and numbers on the stage floor and hanging from perspex boards to create decoding papers which light up in sequences as the scenes change.

The play opens with Turing rather awkwardly in a police station reporting a burglary which is to unravel into his demise. Christian Durham expertly directs the drama as it moves back and forth through time from the police investigation to his childhood with his beloved school friend Christopher (Hubert Burton), to his time at Bletchley Park meeting Dillwyn Knox (Julian Firth) and the unrequited infatuation from his close friend Pat (Louise Calf). His closeness to his mother, played by Caroline Harker, is a particular focus along with his love affair with Ron (Joey Phillips).

The in-the-round setting added to the theatrical experience, making it more intimate and bringing you closer to the characters.

Breaking the Code continues until October 26. Visit or call 01722 320 333.

By Katy Griffin & Christine Stock