North Wall Arts Centre hosted the latest production from popular local company Idle Motion with a show whose subject is also distinctly local. That is All You Need to Know is a glimpse into the secret history of Bletchley Park’s involvement in vitally important work during the war against Hitler, juxtaposed with the rather charming story of how, many years later, the house was saved from ruin by local people.

Using their trademark multi-media and traditional stagecraft interwoven with stylised movement and dance, Idle Motion also used verbatim testimony from those very people who captured the radio signals enabling mathematicians to crack the Enigma code. The play not only evokes the isolation of secret service life at Bletchley but also the cricket games on the lawns, bops at the village hall and jaunts up to London’s West End. Grace Chapman, Sophie Cullen and Kate Stanley perfectly captured young lives against the backdrop of war. There were other fine performances from Chris Bone as troubled genius Alan Turing and Nick Pitt as fellow codebreaker Gordon Welchman. These boffins and engineers were also developing the world’s first computer and it was nice to have a mention of the often unacknowledged genius Tommy Flowers in regard to this.

As noted in previous productions, these agile performers never hesitate to tackle a big story, so the cast doubled up to present the humorous mishaps of naive George (affable Joel Gatehouse) and his team of scatty volunteers, who despite severe setbacks managed to save this piece of secret history for the nation. This show is a celebration of the backroom women and men whose very existence was kept secret for decades. That is All You Need to Know is a gripping and taut piece of theatre worthy of its subject.