Arts & Entertainment
1 min

Alan Turing hooks up

A new play at Toronto's Videofag explores the father of computer science and Grindr

Two totally different stories merging themes of gay desire and technology, a century apart, are brought face to face in a new play from Zack Russell.

Fixed is the story of Alan Turing, the father of computer science who was chemically castrated for being gay, paired against a speculative future in which the inventor of Grindr takes his app to the next level by bringing holograms of men into your home.

The play focuses on the last few years of Turing’s life, during which he travels to Norway to find the infamous “man dances” he has heard about. “Turing’s story is the inverse of Grindr, which is all about men connecting with other men close by, anywhere,” Russell explains. “The idea of going across an ocean to meet guys is crazy; we don’t do that anymore.”

Meanwhile, in the year 2050, hook-up sites have gone three-dimensional. But something goes horribly wrong at the app’s launch party, when organizers of the event end up stuck with a go-go dancer and no way to get him out.

“I thought a lot about commenting on Grindr, but I think it’s more fun for me as a writer to go into the future,” Russell says, acknowledging that the app has already been the subject of much public discussion.

“We all know what Grindr is,” he says. “For me, it’s fun to speculate where could we go from here.”