“Alan – Man Machine”, a theatrical marvel about Alan Turing at HochX – Munich

In the middle of winter, they had built 20 boxes on top of each other, next to each other, on top of each other, the size of shoe boxes, open at the front, spread out on the stage. Inside the boxes: gears, a saw blade, piano hammers, small carousels, everything together could clatter and rattle, start a mechanical song. The boxes also glowed mysteriously, were surrounded by LEDs, everything sparkled and music roared around them. But the machine did not stand alone, it was a theatrical marvel.

The magnificent machine creature was built by Greulix Schrank and Christian Heiß; together they are a portmanteau and have already created some marvels; they are the Tinguelys of the theatre. But as wondrous as their inventions are, they are never an end in themselves; they correspond with what else is happening on the stage; they are partners in the game of their own kind. In this case, the machine is the partner of a very lonely person, Alan Turing, who invented artificial intelligence before it existed.

Alan Turing helped crack the Enigma code, invented the computer – and was castrated

At that time, the Spagat cultural stage had to move to Hall 50 in the Domagkateliers for “Alan – Man Machine” because the main building would have been too small. Now the wonderful, exciting interplay between fragile humanity and glittering machinery can be seen again, first in the HochX, then at the Bavarian Theater Days in Ingolstadt and finally at the Theater Wasserburg during the Theater Days there.

It’s about Alan Turing, who co-invented the computer and thought about machines in the way AI has been doing for several years, and who helped crack the code of the German Enigma encryption machine during World War II. And it’s about the story of a lost, lonely man, a homosexual in a society where that wasn’t allowed. Turing was chemically castrated, fell into depression and killed himself in 1954.

The actor Thorsten Krohn made these hardships touchingly tangible, and Lucca Züchner played – among other roles – the wonderful woman who could have saved Turing. It was stirring, instructive and will be repeated now that the two are back.

“Alan – Mensch Maschine”, Wednesday, May 29th (7.30 p.m.), May 30th (11.30 a.m. & 7.30 p.m.), May 31st (7.30 p.m.), June 1st (7.30 p.m.), HochX, Entenbachstraße 37. June 14th at the Bavarian Theater Days in Ingolstadt, June 22nd at the Wasserburg Theater Days at the Theater Wasserburg.

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