‘Guilty of Love’ relates the circumstances of Alan Turing’s Trial in spring 1952 at which he was found guilty of eight Acts of Gross Indecency with another man, then a Criminal Offence. He was sentenced to two years probation provided that he accepted a course of chemical castration which he did. He died in 1954 of cyanide poisoning from an apple, whether as a deliberate suicide or accidental death is not certain.
Against this, the drama sets out the major personal and academic milestones in Turing’s life as a mathematical genius who was responsible for creating the modern digital computer. In a series of intercut flashbacks we see his teenage love for a schoolfriend, Christopher Morcom, an outstanding scholar who won a place at Cambridge but died tragically young, Turing’s secret wartime codebreaking work at Bletchley, which enabled him to put his groundbreaking ‘Computable Numbers’ theories into practice, and many years after his death, his pardon in 2013. But his life was framed and defined by his homosexuality, as was the life of many other men in the UK until 1967 and the passing of the Sexual Offences Act.
The parallels with the journey suffered by Christ leading to his Easter Crucifixion are extraordinary: the Betrayal, the Last Supper, the torment of Gethsemane, the Trial, Crucifixion itself and Resurrection. ‘Guilty of Love’ is underpinned with the Passion structure and uses the chorales as a framework for this powerful, tuneful accessible and (at times) humorous music drama.