A scientist’s brain probe unleashes surprising thoughts in two young friends – from a knowledge of dead languages to a secret hatred.
A four-minute play, performed during a programme of short plays at the Lyric Studio Hammersmith.
Extract from Probe:
AVA: Shall we get on? I’ve got a lot of subjects to get through today.
We’ll try you this time (to Hector).
She presses a switch attached to HECTOR’s headset.
HECTOR: Lugete, o Veneres Cupidinesque,
et quantum est hominum uenustiorum:
passer mortuus est meae puellae,
passer, deliciae meae puellae,
quem plus illa oculis suis amabat.
AVA: Not sure what I hit then.
ED: What the fuck was that?
HECTOR: I don’t know Latin.
AVA: Well, it was in there. I can’t get out what isn’t already in there.
ED: Where’d you think he’d learn Latin? I went to the same school as him and there definitely wasn’t any Latin.
AVA: You’d be surprised what’s in your head. Let me try again, I’ll slightly reset this… OK. Are you ready?
She presses a switch on Hector again.
HECTOR: I hate Ed.
Ava and ED stare at Hector.
HECTOR: I… I dunno where that came from.
AVA: Perhaps a… just a blip.The mind throws these things up. Don’t worry about it. (She makes a note)
Now! Let’s try again. Sit a bit stiller, perhaps.
HECTOR: Your equipment’s not working, you know. Something wrong with it. I’m serious. You need to take a look at it.
AVA: It’s working fine.
Ed is still staring silently at Hector.
She goes to press the switch on Ed, but he takes his headset off.
ED: No. Do him again.
HECTOR: No, man…
ED: Do him!