The Mind Reading Experiments

Bread and Roses Theatre

The Mind Reading Experiments

The Mind Reading Experiments

Bread & Roses Theatre

Reviewed – 26th May 2019



“McCabe is a friendly, effervescent and approachable host which certainly helps when garnering audience participation”


The set-up of this show is very similar to many others that focus on psychology and mind reading: clever tricks using body language, infused with humour and historical anecdotes along the way. The difference with this show; an aspect enjoyed by previous audiences, as the creator Tomas McCabe expressed, was that he would proceed to share with us how he achieved these supposed acts of mind reading feats.

With that news came eager anticipation. The production suddenly elevated itself from being simply a ‘fun and entertaining’ show to a, potentially, fascinating journey into the mechanics of ‘mind reading’ and the psychology behind it.

Unfortunately the show didn’t quite fulfil on this promise. McCabe is a friendly, effervescent and approachable host which certainly helps when garnering audience participation (an essential aspect of the show). He is also very observant and his keen skills in reading body language were certainly showcased. And though McCabe, initially, guided us through his tricks with informed narration, it was quite sparse and undetailed. Not the revelatory exploration first expected.

Throughout the show there were many spoken interludes perforated between ‘mind reading’ demonstrations. This was often to provide backstory and context. It can be a bit of a challenge, with this format, to maintain a consistent pace and often the energy began to drag a little. This show is due to head to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this year, and I am sure it will perform well as most shows like this do. McCabe, being the talented and likeable person that he is, will surely engage the audience and entertain them. This also provides McCabe time between now and the festival, to tweak the show and perfect it for a larger crowd. Hopefully finding that balance between action and speech to create a continuous flow.

Nearing the end of the performance McCabe made an uplifting speech about freedom. Encouraging us to be bold and think independently from media and advertising, as those are often coercing factors that dictate our actions – essentially mind reading us all the time. This positive and rousing address, thought provoking as it was, sadly translated as somewhat incongruent with the show. Sometimes McCabe traversed between superficial entertainment and social reflectiveness; meandering somewhere in the middle. This is essentially where the show fell short. Had he committed, fully, to exploring human psychology with his audience, it could have converted his production from a clever mind reading sketch into a profoundly, socially transforming show. If McCabe wished to encourage his audience to have more freedom of thought, he missed out on an opportunity to facilitate this by holding back on his insight into the way humans communicate with each other and the world around them.

This show has great potential and I am sure that, with time, McCabe will draw that out and develop a thoughtful and enjoyable mind bending show in the near future.


Reviewed by Pippin


Bread & Roses thespyinthestalls

The Mind Reading Experiments

Bread & Roses Theatre


Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Like Lions | ★★★★ | October 2018
Metamorphosis | ★★★★ | October 2018
Testament | ★★★★ | October 2018
The Enemies | ★★★ | October 2018
The Gap | ★★★★ | October 2018
Baby Blues | ★★★ | December 2018
A Modest Little Man | ★★★ | January 2019
Two Of A Kind | ★★★ | January 2019
Just To Sit At Her Table, Silver Hammer & Mirabilis | ★★★ | April 2019
Starved | ★★★★★ | April 2019


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