Scene study: Breaking the Code

For acting class, the scene I am working on with a fellow student – Alan – is Act I, Scene 8 from Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore. In this scene SERGEANT ROSS (me) has returned to ALAN TURING’s (Alan) flat to ask some follow up questions based on some inconsistent information TURING gave during their first interview. TURING having reported a burglary to his flat. It’s 1952. It’s Manchester, England.

All of this is from ROSS’s view:

TURING pointed to GEORGE as the burglar. Fingerprints confirmed that but for TURING to get that information from a Door-to-Door brush salesman is a bit fantastical. ROSS thinks TURING is lying and says so. Not in an accusatory way, just factual. ROSS just wants the truth. TURING is not known for his social skills, so I think ROSS believes TURING simply did not tell the truth, but not for ill intent.

TURING admits that, yes he was lying but that a friend told him who it may have been. OK, so now we are getting somewhere. It turns out that this “friend” RON MILLER told GEORGE where TURING lived. It appears that TURING is trying to protect RON, but why? ROSS is thinking that maybe this RON and GEORGE are in this together.

The conflict ROSS is having: TURING is a nice guy. ROSS likes TURING although TURING is socially naive. ROSS is also frustrated in trying to convince TURING that these two guys are in on this together. ROSS wants to see justice done, but needs the commitment from TURING to proceed.

TURING then admits that he is trying to protect RON because he is having an affair with him.

More conflict: TURING has just admitted to the crime of Gross Indecency. This was unexpected. ROSS wants justice to be done, but now has to deal with the second crime, TURING’s admission of Gross Indecency.

When broached, TURING asks if ROSS could just forget TURING’s admission.

Even more conflict: The law must be obeyed. ROSS cannot ignore one crime in pursuit of the other. He cannot ignore evidence even if it is against a National Hero.

Sometimes, enforcing the law, just sucks.