Pet Shop Boys have discussed their upcoming musical inspired by WWII codebreaker Alan Turing, revealing they had to rewrite the ending to include the thousands of gay men that unlike Turing, have yet to be pardoned by the government.
‘A Man From The Future’ will be unveiled at London’s Royal Albert Hall on July 23 with the duo backed by the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers. The piece is described as “an evocation of the life and work” of Turing who, at the end of last year, was granted a royal pardon for his conviction for homosexuality. Turing committed suicide in 1954. The piece will feature a narrator reading from a text based on Andrew Hodges’ book Alan Turing: The Enigma.
“You really get a feeling of this extraordinary quirky genius when you learn about Turing,” Tennant told The Guardian. “[He] made a big impression on people that knew him, because he was such an unusual person… coming from this different era of V-neck sweaters and sports jackets, yet having this incredible vision of the Universal Machine, and going round telling people he was homosexual.”
He continued: “We had to [rewrite the ending to] point out that the convictions of tens of thousands of other men remain, and that hasn’t really been discussed. The fact that a public work like this [is] going ahead in the very centre of one of our most famous concert series, on the BBC… there’s a sense of making up and making good, of expunging a lot of what was so bad about the old world.”
Earlier this year, Pet Shop Boys recorded a new song based on a gay rights speech made by a drag queen, which had gone viral on YouTube. Panti Bliss, already a leading gay rights figure in Ireland, saw his fame go global after making a speech condemning homophobia in Ireland at an event at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in February. Madonna, Stephen Fry and Graham Norton were among those to send message of support to Panti, real name Rory O’Neill.