Bletchley Park commemorated in new stamps and
new theatre show from start of May
One of a new set of stamps paying tribute to women’s contributions during World War Two will feature a rare photograph of female codebreakers at Bletchley Park where they operated complex cryptographic machinery. Available from 5 May, the set celebrates the huge range of work women undertook during the conflict. In advance of VE Day, Bletchley Park is at the forefront of peoples’ minds in a variety of ways!
Also opening next week will be Illicit Signals Bletchley, an incredible production from trailblazing immersive theatre company Parabolic Theatre with Mechanical Thought. Audiences work alongside famous figures from the Government Code and Cipher School at Bletchley Park to crack ENIGMA, while uncomfortable secrets closer to home threaten to be revealed. Illicit Signals Bletchley combines historical drama with rewarding codebreaking to create a fun, stimulating evening. Follow in the footsteps of real-life cryptologists as Bletchley Park goes through its most pivotal moment. Crack codes and decipher messages to uncover their private lives and make the tough decision of whether to keep their secrets or spill the beans
Christopher Styles, artistic associate at Parabolic Theatre, commented, Mavis Batey and Joan Clarke were two incredible codebreakers working at Bletchley Park and both of who feature prominently in Illicit Signals Bletchley. Mavis, a talented linguist, worked on deciphering Italian Navy Enigma messages and uncovered critical information that led the Royal Navy to victory at the battle of Matapan in the Mediterranean. Joan, who had a double first in mathematics from Cambridge (although didn’t receive her full degree until after the war as Cambridge only award these to men), was described as one of the best Bamburists in her section, a cryptanalytic method of deciphering Enigma. It is brilliant to see their work recognised and be able commemorate their prolific contributions within our show.
Codebreakers based at Bletchley Park, the home of the Government Code and Cypher School in Buckinghamshire were crucial to the war effort, feeding important information to Allied forces, especially in the days and weeks leading up to D-Day in 1944. Experts believe the work done at the site may have shortened the war by up to two years. At its height there were 9,000 staff at the site, with about 75% women.
Illicit Signals Bletchley can be seen at CRYPT, one of London’s newest and most exciting venues, run by Parabolic Theatre. This innovative new venue is dedicated to immersive and interactive theatre in the heart of Bethnal Green