REVIEW – [email protected] – Dots and Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical


EDINBURGH Fringe welcomed [email protected] again in a strong style with their newest present Dots and Dashes: A Bletchley Park Musical.

The musical, created by ChopLogic Productions, explores the untold story of the ladies who labored undercover in World Conflict Two, decoding enemy messages to save lots of males on the entrance.

This can be a hidden account in historical past. These are unsung heroes. Certainly, it’s a narrative that wants telling.

Dots and Dashes makes for a strong present on unsung feminine heroes in British historical past. (C) Callan Riches

The efficiency follows the journey of six younger girls contained in the decoding room.

They every maintain a transparent and distinctive position within the workplace. None of them might work with out the opposite. It’s an actual story of feminine empowerment.

Characters vary from Florence, who embodies what society again then anticipated from a lady, to Dorothy, who sadly had a prepare of thought too progressive for this period.

These contrasting views give rise to diverging storylines that interweave with one another to spotlight pertinent feminine problems with the Forties.

They contact on important issues, comparable to being pregnant, marriage and homosexuality.

The present straight exposes how a lady again then, regardless of doing one thing so necessary, was meant principally for one job, and one job solely; to marry and have children.

Their plotlines don’t steal the main focus of the significance of their work in historical past. As a substitute, they make the story notably partaking.

We get to know the Bletchley ladies on a extra private stage.

The present has a well-executed and meticulous set, which provides the musical an extra fringe of realism.

The script is a selected spotlight of the entire manufacturing – immersing us within the day-to-day dialog of the women.

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Skillfully-placed silences are littered all through too, giving method to noises just like the tapping and clicking of a telegraph so as to add to the contextual actuality.

It virtually makes you’re feeling as in case you are one in every of them.

Their attires mix into that period’s style while on the similar time seamlessly aiding to signify their persona.

That is a facet clearly mirrored in Dorothy’s (the progressive woman) clothes, along with her being the one one carrying trousers. Small particulars like this push this manufacturing to stardom.

The important thing ingredient is their songs. They lyrically harmonise as their voices mix into each other and let every shine when mandatory.

The performances are powerfully choreographed as nicely, with easy however enough strikes that inform the story of every girl by way of motion alone.

Sadly, it appears the play touches on too many topics in a brief area of time and inevitably leaves us with open ends.

We by no means totally see the end result of their storylines. We get to know their issues, however we don’t see how they unfold.

The present additionally suffers from some visible points. Ultimately, they gave us some details and figures on Bletchley Park and the problems the play explored, however the small font on-screen made for troublesome studying, leaving the viewers unable to totally respect it.

These are factors of weak spot in what’s in any other case a strong and transferring efficiency.

Bletchley Park is a must-see at this 12 months’s Fringe, not least for its gripping efficiency and faultless stage presence, but additionally due to the exceptional story it tells.

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