Salisbury theatre star discovers personal tie to Alan Turing

Edward Bennett

Published at 12:03pm 16th October 2019.

Edward Bennett is playing the Enigma code-breaker in a Playhouse production and was recently informed of the link.

Actors are told to get to know their assigned character inside out, but Bennett has a much closer tie to his subject.

The 40-year-old is starring as legendary computer scientist Alan Turing in a Salisbury Playhouse production entitled Breaking the Code, but recently discovered a family relative was a friend of Turing’s. 

Edward Bennett
Edward Bennett (left), was shocked to discover his connection the Alan Turing.

Bennett, who featured in the 2011 film War Horse, said:

“It’s just amazing, isn’t it? I always knew about my great uncle – I went to retrace his steps in Canada – but I had no idea he actually knew Alan Turing personally.

“He was obviously there to look out for Alan and was a nice guy to have around.

“I burst into tears when I discovered the connection.”

Bennett was made aware of his great uncle John’s connection after Sherborne School – the institution where he and Turing were educated – unearthed a photograph from their archives picturing the two together in 1930.

Alan Turing & John Bennett
John Bennett (left), and Alan Turing (right), who were friends during their time at Sherborne School.

Turing also mentioned Bennett in a letter he wrote to his mother in February 1930 following the death of a close school friend, detailing how kind he had been to him during a difficult period. 

Breaking the Code is running at the Salisbury Playhouse until October 26 and depicts the fascinating life of the scientist and logician, who was responsible for breaking the complex German Enigma code during the Second World War.

Tickets are available to purchase here.

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