Do you ever wonder why you make the decisions you make? In a time where there are so many big choices being made and everything feels in a bit of a flux, do you ever take a moment to stop and think about the smaller decisions? For example, offering someone a seat on the train, or a simple smile at a stranger. These small things can actually make someone’s day, and that’s what How We Think We Think at the King’s Head Theatre gets the audience to consider.
The one-man show written by Melanie Anne Ball and performed by Peter Dewhurst sees Tom witness a stranger take his own life, after a chance encounter on the Tube. There’s no build up, it just happened, and Tom now needs to know why. It’s in many ways a personal therapy for Tom that we get to witness; he needs to vocalize his questions and justify what occured. Why would someone do this? What would you do in a similar situation? Through audience participation Tom brings us all into his situation, reflecting his emotions on us.
Joe Ball’s direction creates a fantastic nervous disposition in Tom, where there’s a real sense of something bubbling under the surface. Even when he gets into his stride and conversation is flowing – jumping from point to point, throwing in countless random facts and memories as any normal discussion would – there’s a constant feeling of unease. It’s great to watch, making Tom a compelling and unpredictable character.
As I’ve previously found with pieces of interactive theatre, How We Think We Think is more of a thought-provoking piece with an ending that’s open to interpretation, allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions as to what they take away from it. I’ll never be able to look at Stockwell tube station in the same light now that I know the platforms aren’t the same length, but I took away a lot more than just that.
How We Think We Think is on at the King’s Head Theatre until August 13th.