Alan Turing – A Musical Biography

Musicals and Opera (musical theatre, historical)

  • Accessibility:
    Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


This musical, composed by Joel Goodman and Jan Osborne, with a new script by Joan Greening is a journey through the extraordinary life of Alan Turing. Alan was a genius whose brilliant code breaking brain saved approximately fourteen million lives in WW2. It takes us on a journey through the loss of his closest friend, his romance with a fellow worker, the moment he realises how to beat the Germans and the growing awareness of his homosexuality. His treatment after the war was truly appalling and this brilliant, funny man was left in despair.

Please note that while all media gallery content is provided by verified members of the event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society does not review or approve this content before it is posted. Reports of inappropriate content or copyright infringement can be directed to [email protected].

General venue access

  • Wheelchair Accessible Toilets
  • Accessible entry: Audience enters from George IV Bridge, with a couple of steps from the street into the building. A temporary ramp is available when required. The Sanctuary has level access from front of house. The audience enter down the side of a raked seating rig, with one row of seats on the floor and several further rows accessed via steps on a central aisle.
  • Wheelchair access type: Temporary Ramp, Level Access

  • Stairs: 2 - 5
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Scott The Traveler 103 days ago

A wonderful play, superbly acted, interleaving the story of a biographer and her subject (Turing). If this were expanded, for example, by adding a scene about the computer he built to crack the Enigma code, and perhaps a scene showing German attacks on British ships, it could become adapted to Broadway or the West End. One of the top 5 shows we watched during this year's Fringe.

Declan 'TéléDex-BaBrBo' Bracewell 103 days ago

A decent musical, with a good staging, and use of chalk to depict Alan's use of mathematics. I don't think the songs were the most exciting or most gripping. Plus, when I, at long last watched this musical, it did feel like I was watching Julie and Julia, except the title is Alan and Angela. And Angela got the bigger part of it, as mentioned here in terms of solo numbers.

Julia Bolden 104 days ago

This beautifully acted and sung two-hander musical hurtles seamlessly through the highs and lows in the life of this tragic hero, who poignantly describes himself as an odd number in an even world. Recommended.

S K 104 days ago

Excellent show!
Very well written and acted out, thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Both actors are very talented. Would highly recommend.

Philip Tucker-Bell 105 days ago

Utterly brilliant and very moving. I was totally engaged from the beginning. Thank you.

alison matthews 106 days ago

i thought this was an excellent show which was very well performed. It was incredibly emotional. My dad told us about him when we were kids and so i have always had huge admiration for him. It's only in more recent times I have appreciated just how badly treated he was. This musical was amazing.

Sheena Grant 107 days ago

Wasn't entirely sure what to expect but loved it. Both actors are very talented in both acting and singing. They condensed the story of Turing's life very cleverly. You don't need to be a maths nerd to enjoy this! Worth a visit.

Monet 108 days ago

I went to see this show yesterday and was impressed by the talent of the cast, and the production design. However, I was quite disappointed overall. Partially this is because I love the movie Imitation Game and I expected the show to offer something new, a deeper emotional look at Alan Turing (since theatre often gives the opportunity to dive into emotionality). Instead, I experienced the show as a somewhat less gripping version of the movie, albeit with some added information about Alan's time after university. For people who don't know the story, they'll experience it fresh and might not have the same inner comparison.

I think my main critique of the show is best illustrated by this: there is only one solo song, and it's sung by the straight biographer. Why can't Turing be the center of his own story? I felt like his character didn't get a single moment, he was constantly interrupted by the biographer, which I found problematic in a story that was ostensibly about him.

I have nothing but respect for the creative team and the effort it takes to put a show onstage. It is truly difficult to balance two storylines, one of which spans a whole lifetime, in an 85 minute show. The result I think was that both storylines were underdeveloped.

In the case of Alan, I felt frustrated because threads were set up and never paid off. Most importantly, there's a lovely letter to his mother which ends by him saying "I have a war to win." Except we never see him winning the war or having his breakthrough with respect to enigma. I couldn't figure out where in the play the war ended either - before or after the "imitation game" song? What happened on his cycling holiday in Germany when he witnessed the rise of Nazism (and their persecution of the LGTB community)? Did he find a deeper sense of community and belonging at Princeton? Overall, he didn't have a strong desire line that spanned the length of the piece, and I felt the tension and conflict somewhat lacking because of this, hopping from event to event without resolving it.

I think the biographer's story was intended to be a unifying factor, providing the forward momentum necessary in a story that’s essentially a biography, but her storyline had similar issues: she wants to be a biographer, great - except she already is, as we learn very early on, and she's even been nominated for an award. There is no sense of struggle or overcoming obstacles (except her mom and boyfriend can't make it to the award ceremony - and I’m not sure what we as the audience were meant to take away from that). What she reveals in her acceptance speech was obvious from the first five minutes of the show and very underexplored. Did she feel guilt? Was writing the book meant to be healing? Perhaps a more comepelling framing narrative might've been following her as she attempted to write the book and do justice to his story, rather than get to an award ceremony through the rain.

I do believe anyone should be able to write anything and certainly had my own biases and expectations impacting my experience, but to an extent it did feel like the biographer character was taking a gay man's (or two men actually) story and kind of...making it about her? Later that same day, I saw After the Act, which tackles similar subject matter in a way that truly puts the LGBT community’s experience front and center and the contrast to me was obvious - After the Act didn’t need to spell out “this is very bad” in the lyrics, it came through in the story itself.

Overall, it is an ambitious piece of theatre still in need of some development.

The Snow White bit was certainly clever, the staging with the desks was well done, the songs were beautiful (though would've loved if they shook it up a bit since the styles are extremely similar), and the actors clearly talented. The play certainly did prompt myself and others in the audience to want to do more research on Alan Turing - which is a win in itself. But you could tell from the audience's moderate reaction that there is potential to improve the storytelling and create a narrative that is more gripping and allows Alan Turing to be the star in his own story.

carlijn nouwen 110 days ago

Came to see this last year - and came back for the encore. It was great alreay - and becane was even better this year around as the female roles became so much more diverse and interactive with the male lead. Heartfelt emotion, beautiful harmonies, and simple, yet very effective staging added to being drawn into the tragedy of Alan's life.

Michael Duncan 112 days ago

This is a wonderful show! We enjoyed every
Second. The subject was accurately and sensitively covered… beautiful signing and acting. My wife cried. A tribute to a man who invented the foundations of computing and was a war hero and then was treated so badly by the establishment. I wish he could have seen this himself.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Broadway World (3/5 stars) 103 days ago

Alan Turing - A Musical Biography sheds light on Turing’s legacy, and will undoubtedly be provoking further curiosity in his life and work.

Read the full review

Lisa In The Theatre (5/5 stars) 104 days ago

'Alan Turing - A musical biography' is the complete package. I can't fault it; I loved every second. Go see it. It's gorgeous.

Read the full review

Musical Theatre Review (4/5 stars) 104 days ago

Hauntingly beautiful.

Read the full review

Starburst Magazine (4/5 stars) 105 days ago

A lovely piece of musical theatre that humanises the man behind the headlines.

Read the full review (3/5 stars) 107 days ago

Joe Bishop is superb as Turing

Read the full review

Theatre, Films and Arts (4/5 stars) 107 days ago

A Musical to honour and praise the life of Alan Turing.

Read the full review

Theatre Reviews (4/5 stars) 107 days ago

Go see an important piece of our history!

Read the full review

North West End UK (4/5 stars) 110 days ago

Both actors play brilliantly against each other with sensitive and intuitive chemistry, which makes this a delight to watch.

Read the full review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Please login to add a review

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.