How do you begin to write a review for a show where not only do you have to avoid spoilers, but you also spent a good 40 minutes of it not knowing exactly what happened?
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You see, last night, I was hypnotised by Derren Brown, not once, but twice.
The illusionist is back in Birmingham this week, where he’s performing his latest show, Derren Brown: Showman, at The Alexandra.
Derren Brown is one of the country’s most successful illusionists and storytellers. His one-man shows alone have won him Olivier Awards, seen him perform on Broadway and release multiple tv shows, in a career spanning over two decades.
The key to attending any show of Derren’s is two things: trust and an open mind. Many people will be hugely sceptical about how he pulls off his ingenious tricks of the mind, but you mustn’t try and pick the show apart. Immerse yourself in it, and take along a personal item of sentimental value that’s big enough to sit in the palm of your hand. Trust me, and most importantly, trust Derren.
Having seen Derren on his previous tour, I knew it was going to be another unique experience, and boy was I right. Not only did I witness unusual things happening to others, but also myself when I ended up on stage on two occasions.
So what exactly happened? I hear you ask. Well, I’m not going to post any spoilers, because one: I think that to in order believe me, you need to see the show for itself. Two: we were strictly told by Derren at the end of the show not to spoil it. And three: there are genuine parts of my experience that I can’t quite get my head around or remember.
What I can say is that my first experience on stage was with other members of the audience. Shortly after, I was backstage alone, where I was told that Derren wanted to talk to me, and who could possibly say no to that?
The rest of my time backstage is a bit of a blur where I can remember sitting at a table chatting to Derren, the next thing I knew, I was back up on stage, sitting at the same table, when things started to get strange.
I can’t explain what happened, nor do would I want to for fear of ruining your experience if you’re planning to see Showman – please do get tickets, it’s sensational – but according to my friends in the audience and people who I met when leaving, Derren had got inside my head without me even realising.
Showman is an exceptionally mind-blowing experience, and I’m not just saying that because I was a part of it. The show is touching, emotional, exciting, jaw-dropping and mind-boggling, and it’s this collation that makes Derren Brown such a talent.
He’s comedic, friendly, engaging and pushes the boundaries about the way the mind works, and how we handle certain experiences. Showman is a real treat and Brown’s most personal show yet, so hopefully, you’ll leave with a new outlook on life, I know I certainly have. And what a great story I have to tell my friends at the pub about the time where Derren Brown literally had control of my mind.
Derren Brown: Showman runs at The Alexandra Birmingham until Saturday, October 30. Tickets are still up for grabs, so book yours now!
For clarity, views in this review are 100% my own. Before this, I’d never met nor spoken to Derren Brown before, but maybe one day, I’ll remember exactly what happened.