One of the new stamps honoring women’s contributions during World War II will feature a rare photograph of female code breakers at Bletchley Park where they operated complex crypto machines. Available from May 5, the set celebrates the wide range of work women undertook during the conflict. Ahead of VE Day, Bletchley Park is at the forefront of people’s minds in a variety of ways!
Also opening next week is Illicit Signals Bletchley, an incredible production from pioneering immersive theater company Parabolic Theater with Mechanical Thought. Audiences work alongside famous figures from Bletchley Park’s Government Code and Cipher School to decipher ENIGMA, as uncomfortable secrets closer to home threaten to come to light. Illicit Signals Bletchley combines historical drama with enriching decryption to create a fun and thought-provoking evening. Follow in the footsteps of real cryptologists as Bletchley Park passes through its most pivotal moment. Crack codes and decipher messages to uncover their private lives and make the difficult decision to keep their secrets or spill the wick.
Christopher Styles, artistic associate at the Parabolic Theatre, commented that Mavis Batey and Joan Clarke were two amazing code breakers working at Bletchley Park who both featured 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 maths at Cambridge (although she didn’t get her full degree until after the war as Cambridge only awards them to men), has been described as one of the best bamboo players of its section, a cryptanalytical method of decryption Enigma. It’s great to see their work recognized and to be able to commemorate their prolific contributions within our show.
Codebreakers based at Bletchley Park, home of the Government Code and Cypher School in Buckinghamshire, played a crucial role in the war effort, providing important information to Allied forces, particularly in the days and weeks leading up to the day J in 1944. Experts believe the work done at the site may have shortened the war by up to two years. At its peak, there were 9,000 employees at the site, around 75% of whom were 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 theater in the heart of Bethnal Green.
Ticketing To book tickets, visit https://www.parabolictheatre.com/crypt