Review by Max D’Ambrosio – Showbill.ca Staff Writer
Let Me Freeze Your Head concerns a former philosophy professor, Neil (played by actual University of Manitoba philosophy professor Neil McArthur), who has become a salesman for Cryoncor – a fictional company based on the real-life Alcor, which provides cryonic preservation of people after death in the hope that they might be reconstructed through future advances in medical technology.
Through a plaintive, somewhat plodding combination of dramatic monologue and sales pitch, the play explores the emotional dimension of the heartbreakingly human dream of life extension. While he is new to theatre and not maximally engaging in his delivery, McArthur succeeds in conveying the same strong sense of the value of human life that characterizes many advocates of cryonic preservation technology.
The character of Neil is a tragic figure: sympathetic, but also portrayed as low-status, as he is somewhat less self-aware than one might hope a philosopher would be. He is presented as being in a blind, desperate pursuit of a dream that is almost certainly unrealistic.
Even so, he lays bare the passions that lead people to pursue the dream of life extension, despite the unproven technology of today, and uses the tales of three people that the protagonist has known and lost – three paragons of the vast creativity, curiosity, regret, hope, and overflowing love found within each human life. Each of these remembered lives is represented by a stylized sculpture of a frozen human head, along with other well chosen props that help to drive home key scenes.
The Bottom Line
Let Me Freeze Your Head presents an intense emotional reaction to early life extension technologies, and a starting point for further conversation. See it, and warm up your head – and heart – with some Fringe ideas.