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Review of Melanie Anne Ball’s How We Think We Think

How We Think We ThinkAny idea how much money has been spent on space exploration over the years? And why? After all that time and money we still know relatively little about what is just outside our planet. For that matter we don’t actually know everything about this rock on which we live. And speaking of living, let’s turn to our knowledge of our own bodies and mind. Again he most of us have a limited knowledge of how we work and think. But, if you would like that knowledge increased a smidgen then I heartily recommend a visit to the King’s Head Theatre for Melanie Anne Ball’s How We Think We Think.

Tom (Peter Dewhurst) is a young man with a story to tell. A story of something that happened one morning as he travelled home from work. Sitting on a tube train, Tom caught the eye of the person opposite him and the two of them talked. They talked on the journey, they talked as they got off the train together and they talked just as the stranger jumped out in front of the next tube train into the station, devastating Tom and changing his life forever. What follows is Tom’s story of his quest to understand why this event happened and what caused events to unfold the way they did.

I have to be honest and say that How We Think We Think took me completely by surprise. In fact, without giving too much away, the first few minutes were probably some of the most uncomfortable I’ve spent in a theatre, but at the same time, they were quite exceptionally interesting – as things usually are when being looked at in a new and unexpected way.

Melanie Anne Ball has written an amazingly powerful piece of work. Tom’s story is wonderfully told with a lovely flow to the words and ideas that really take the audience along with him. Director Joe Ball and actor Peter Dewhurst take Melanie’s evocative words and bring Tom totally to life as an individual with a body and a personality of his own that is so believable real it actually really surprised me to realise this was an actor playing a role. Tom’s speech and movement are, at times frenetic as he tries to get his thoughts out ot the audience but then, he is calmer, especially when explaining the discoveries he has made on his journey to find an answer. All the time though, he holds the audience in the palm of his hand and keeps them engrossed in what he has to say and show them.

At an hour, the running time was just right and, in fact, everything about the show was just right. I can’t speak for the rest of the audience but I was totally engrossed by the entire story and was caught by surprise when it ended. How We Think We Think is not conventional theatre at all. It is however, an extremely moving and powerful one person show that totally captivated me from the start and left me at the end wishing Tom well and hoping that one day he will get the full closure he really does deserve.

5 Star Rating

Review by Terry Eastham

How We Think We Think is a performance which strikes up conversation with its audience about how we process decision making. When Tom witnesses the suicide of a stranger he has had a chance encounter with on the London Underground, he makes it his mission to understand why the events unfolded as they did. He tears apart his own world view while trying to piece together the life and mind of a man he will never know. Using audience involvement to seek answers, Heart to Heart Theatre invite you to join us for an exploration of who, why and what we are. How do you think we think?

Performed by Peter Dewhurst
Directed by Joe Ball
Written by Melanie Anne Ball

At the King’s Head Theatre
8th – 13th August 2016
Heart to Heart Theatre


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