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RSC actor Ed Bennett leads the cast for Alan Turing drama at Salisbury Playhouse

Casting is announced today for Wiltshire Creative’s ground-breaking production of Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking the Code, the story of the brilliant maths genius Alan Turing who cracked the Enigma code and helped win World War II.

Breaking the Code will be staged from 5-26 October at Salisbury Playhouse in-the-round on multi-tiered platforms, using light boxes and reproductions of some original code, on a set designed by James Button (Relatively Speaking, Love on the Links and Worst Wedding Ever – all Salisbury Playhouse).

Ed Bennett (Macbeth, Love’s Labour’s Lost / Much Ado About Nothing, all RSC; School for Scandal, Salisbury Playhouse) plays Alan Turing in the production.

The cast for Breaking the Code also includes Hubert Burton (The Last Post, BBC; The Inheritance, West End), Louise Calf (Downton Abbey, ITV; The Railway Children, Kings Cross Theatre) and Caroline Harker (Handbagged, Salisbury Playhouse; The Chalk Garden, Chichester Festival Theatre; Middlemarch, BBC).

The cast is completed by Julian Firth (Bodyguard, BBC; Strife, Chichester Festival Theatre), Joey Phillips (A Christmas Carol, RSC), Ian Redford (King Charles III, BBC;Casualty, BBC) and Fraser Wilson (Our Tale, The Lights, Andover).

Hubert Burton, Louise Calf and Caroline Harker are also appearing in Wiltshire Creative’s production of Relatively Speaking which runs at Salisbury Playhouse from 4-28 September.

Breaking the Code is directed by Christian Durham (Quaint Honour, Finborough Theatre; Café Society Swing, Theatre Royal Stratford East). Lighting is by Chris Davey (The Constant Wife, Private Lives, The Winslow Boy all Salisbury Playhouse) and sound and music are by Michael Scott (The Wizard of Oz, Her Naked Skin, Love on the Links all Salisbury Playhouse).

Hugh Whitemore’s compelling play Breaking the Code intertwines the story of World War II eccentric genius Alan Turing and his work on breaking the complex German Enigma code at Bletchley Park with the story of his persecution as a homosexual in 1950s Britain. Turing’s story was told in the 2014 Oscar-winning film The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch. Earlier this year, Turing was voted Ultimate Icon of the 20th Century in a BBC poll.

Tickets are on sale now and can be booked by calling Ticket Sales on 01722 320333 or by visitingwww.wiltshirecreative.co.uk.

Breaking the Code is generously supported by Jim Douglas.

Wiltshire Creative to premiere Barney Norris’s retelling of Lorca’s Blood Wedding At  Salisbury Playhouse

Blood Wedding

Wiltshire Creative will premiere Barney Norris’ explosive new adaptation of Lorca’s Blood Wedding, retold in present-day Wiltshire, at Salisbury Playhouse in February as part of its 2019-20 Autumn Winter season.

Blood Wedding, a Wiltshire Creative, Up In Arms and Oxford Playhouse production, is a tragedy by Federico Garcia Lorca about the cycle of life, the progression of time, choice, deception, fate and nature. Alice Hamilton of Up In Arms will direct.

Norris’s previous plays include Echo’s End (Salisbury Playhouse), Nightfall (The Bridge Theatre) and The Remains of the Day (Out of Joint).

Barney Norris said: “I can’t express how fortunate I feel to be making work for Salisbury once more. This is the ninth story I’ve told in this theatre; the support Wiltshire Creative has given me over that period has shaped the stories I tell, the artist I am. Since I was a kid growing up in Salisbury, I’ve had a dream: to make a play for the main house that could then tour round the country, carrying the city’s stories far and wide for all to hear. With this play, I’m finally achieving my dream, and I’m thrilled to be championing the lives of the people of Wiltshire at a moment when the world is talking about us for reasons we’d rather hadn’t happened. This play is an attempt to insist on the epic dignity of our lives, wherever we live them: this feels like a good moment for this county to be telling that story.”

Also part of the forthcoming season are Wiltshire Creative productions of Alan Ayckbourn’s sparkling comedy Relatively Speaking and of Hugh Whitemore’s Alan Turing drama Breaking the Code – both of which will be performed in the round in a transformed auditorium.

Relatively Speaking runs from 5 to 28 September 2019 at Salisbury Playhouse, followed by Breaking the Code from 4 to 26 October.

Wiltshire Creative Artistic Director Gareth Machin said: “We’re delighted to be working again with Barney Norris, following Echo’s End which ran here in 2017. We’re also really looking forward to transforming the Main House again, to present two captivating plays in the round for our audiences.”

Once again, Salisbury Playhouse will also present the best theatre from visiting companies including Nigel Slater’s memoir Toast direct from the West End, three nights of the legendary Eric and Ernie, two-time Olivier Award winner Tracie Bennett in the musical Mame and an adaptation ofSarah Waters’ 1940s-set novel The Night Watch from Original Theatre (BirdsongThe Habit of Art and The Importance of Being Earnest).

Wiltshire Creative’s Christmas offer includes celebrated pantomime with Robin Hood at Salisbury Playhouse, Guy Masterson in A Child’s Christmas in Wales and, for younger audiences, a new musical adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s A Tailor of Gloucester by Gareth Machin and Glyn Kerslake.

The Autumn Winter line-up in the Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse includes David Hare’s Skylight from Theatre Chipping Norton, The Soldier by Rachel Wagstaff (The Mirror Crack’d) from Mesh Theatre, magicians Morgan & West and Graeae with a reimagining of One Under, the story of a tube train driver who experienced a suicide first-hand.

Family theatre includes The Boy Who Cried Wolf from Angel Heart Theatre, Same, Same But Different commissioned by Birmingham Hippodrome and The Place and You’ve Got Dragons  from Taking Flight Theatre all on offer over the October half term.

Meanwhile at Salisbury Arts Centre Wiltshire Creative presents a programme that includes music from folk band Rant (nominated Folk Band of the Year), percussion duo O Duo and The Beat drummer Everett Morton with The Beat Goes Bang. Theatre at Salisbury Arts Centre includes readings from author Lemn Sissay and performances of Odyssey from Living Spit; dance comes from Anjali Dance Company and Rosie Kay; comedy features Sindhu Vee and there is a full film programme including Wednesday matinees.

Visual art includes ceramicist Kate Wilson reflecting on the conflict in Afghanistan, a winter exhibition from leading contemporary British craft practitioners and Cornwall-based artist Nicola Bealing with a solo exhibition which responds to the retelling of Lorca’s Blood Wedding at Salisbury Playhouse.

Tickets go on general sale on Friday 28 June. For more information and to book, call Ticket Sales on 01722 320333 or visit www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk.