Petrol and Neurons by Vince Licata
May 6th – June 5th, 2022
Brighton Fringe, Streaming
For this play ‘Petrol and Neurons’ by Vince Licata, at the Brighton Fringe 2022 my laptop felt very much like a tiny theatre screen with luscious red curtains and all, tuning in to something very entertaining. The play was a mock Zoom chat, all business and nothing personal. Andy (whose name was onscreen) sat waiting to be joined until Danny Gauche turned up just off screen.
The business was about a transaction, monetarily, on a big scale that only someone rich could afford. They talked back and forth about chips, well and oil rigs, Danny was very excited. They kept mentioning a woman by the name of Annie (who would turn out to be Danny wife), agreeing that she would be kept out of it.
The simple transaction once made would have immediate effect. Once signed for they parted their Zoom correspondence with pleasure, but Andy forgot to do something important. Laughing loudly had he just got away with something big? Enter Annie onscreen, the plan had gone well, and the fee had been transferred.
This was a satirical play commenting on the larger world being made by the smallest of inter actions. With a good old fashioned villain versus the naivety of the rest. Petrol is at the heart of the modern world, and then enters Neurons to complete the look.
From the corruption of Annie and Andy, framed in the set of a zoom call, the game was given up when Andy forgot to turn off the meeting and Danny heard everything. Youthful scientists were called for in the shape of two colleagues Alex and Chris.
Alex’s head phones sat on his head as he waited to be joined for an organised Zoom meeting between colleagues who share a scientific life. As he waits Chris shows up but only started to flirt with him, and the meeting took to chit chat rather than science. They didn’t know it but the meeting would be cancelled because of illness.
Chris’s thoughts were only on the idea of her and him having been together the previous night, but Andy doesn’t want it. Chris, with the broadest of smiles, offer’s herself up for another night of love. But Andy found himself perplexed having been weeks in preparation for this zoom event, having been experimenting at his lab.
So they compose a little as he relay’s to her his present brain cell experimentation in which he had found something he called distraction that stopped the cells from certain behaviours. And in a philosophic state of mind he referred to himself as having behaviour that followed in the same ways as these cells, an idea that he liked with the insight offering links to how the brain actually works.
But when they then find out about the cancellation they both simply laughed at its absurdity and warm up to each other again. It was a 2 half glimpse into life behind and beyond science and business filling the programme in the used of parable’s. To offer an insight, that brought a sense of thinking in the sparks of mental activity.
And oh may I mention that the whole thing was done in German (with English subtitles) that added a healthy dose of culture to an absorbing encounter.