…. the poignant and hugely entertaining theatre production of “The Universal Machine” at the New Diorama in central London. On April 23 there was a special performance with various various prominent ATY supporters in the audience. It was a great treat to see the nieces of Alan Turing there, familiar to many from their engaging TV interviews, with fascinating memories of their uncle Alan.
The uniformly wonderful company, and Diorama staff, must have been really relieved to hear all the positive comments. The music and cleverly crafted lyrics gave a special lightness to the essentially sad story, and both intensified, and lifted the impact to a new level. Turing’s niece Janet was especially happy to see her grandmother (Turing’s mother Sara) played so brilliantly by Judith Paris. Judith also attracted high praise from The Guardian.
There were lots of reviews in the national press. There was a thoughtful piece by Daisy Bowie-Sell in the Telegraph: http://bit.ly/ZLaiWH with our favourite review by the ever perceptive Libby Purves in The Times: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/stage/theatre/article3751815.ece
If you live within reach of London, don’t miss it! Some nights are already sold out, but it’s on at New Diorama (just 15 minutes walking from Kings Cross) until May 11: http://newdiorama.com/whats-on/the-universal-machine
I think LMS members and all readers of this blog will be happy and surprised that thousands of people voted Alan Turing’s Universal Machine, described in his 1936 mathematical logic paper, the most important innovation of the last 100 years:
Of course, many of them will have voted
Btw, don’t you think it’s amazing (and says something about the way basic research impacts on the world) that a 1930s mathematical logic paper in the “Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society” eventually wins a popular vote for “the most important innovation of the last 100 years” some 76 years later?
If you’d like to do something to raise the profile of mathematics, logic and computer science in the UK, please visit the “Top British Innovations” webpage:
and vote accordingly. The vote has just one day to run, with result announced on the 25th March. It is supported by the Royal Society, Science Museum, Royal Academy of Engineering, amongst others.
Many thanks for your help, and apologies for disturbing your Saturday morning!
[Republished from The Guardian's The Notherner Blog]
Celebrations of Alan Turing’s life and work reach a peak this week with the centenary of his birth. The chair of the project, Professor S.Barry Cooper, continues his series for the Guardian Northerner with insights on the torment which the bright but unusual can still suffer at school.
John Turing talks in the family’s reminscences about his younger brother Alan, recalling how the future computer genius was noted for:
bad reports, slovenly habits and unconventional behaviour
The ‘neurotypical’ John says that neither he nor his parents “had the faintest idea that this tiresome, eccentric and obstinate small boy was a budding genius.”
It is still very common for geekishly irritating little boys and girls to suffer misunderstanding and routine bullying at school. Nowadays Alan would probably have been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.