Derren Brown is a Witch. Or the Devil, I haven’t decided which yet. But either way, he is the only thing on this planet that would survive a burning at the stake. We went to see his current show, Enigma, at the Alexandra Theatre on Tuesday night – and I am still breathlessly confused!
We have all watched his many Channel 4 programmes and seen his magnificent skills; predicting a taxi driver’s journey, convincing a young man he is trapped in a Zombie computer game, prompting the Good to hijack a security van, seances and supernatural jiggery-pokery; but nothing, nothing, prepares you for the utter genius of a live stage show. He is possibly the most entertaining performer I will ever have the good fortune to watch – and I do not exaggerate.
The tone of the show was set from the very beginning with very vaudevillian style staging, beautiful rich velvets pouring around the stage and gold glittering letters to distract your attention. Sitting with Steve-the-cynic obviously rubs off a little, and instantly I started looking at the stage and our surroundings trying to deduce the eventual sway of the audience. I did indeed pick up on one or two clues, along with a discretely spoken word in his introduction, but even knowing this and knowing that some how they were to impact on me, I still wasn’t ready for the final resolve.
There were many mind blowing ‘tricks’ and Houdini-esq skits throughout the show, as per usual. But every time you thought, “Ah . . . I think I know how he does this! I think I know what will happen next!” he steps it up another gear. There was always that exceptional follow through on his magic and persuasion that left you absolutely dumbfounded. I felt, the whole time, as if I was stood on a trap door and someone else controlled the latch. I think the edge of my seat had worn down to the frame! Steve left the theatre not only completely bewildered but frustrated because there was so much he still could not find any reasoning for whatsoever – not even an inkling. I believe now more than ever that Derren Brown is made not of this world.
There is no doubt about it, the man knows his stuff and I only wish I could share more specific detail with you, but if I did, I would have to shoot you. And that would just be messy. But what I can say is, if you have seen anything of his TV work and you enjoy, you must, MUST go and see him perform live – there is no way you could ever be disappointed. If, somehow, you don’t know who this demon is, then go see him anyway – you will begin to doubt everything you hold true, life will never be the same again. I could barely speak on the way to the train. My mouth kept opening but words wouldn’t come – there was nothing you could say to describe the experience other than, “Huh? What? How? But . . . ?” on a continuous loop. I lurched between huffing in confusion and laughing in disbelief with the odd uttering of, “Bloody Brilliant!”
Derren Brown’s performance is without doubt the finest I have seen and the show itself tremendous. And I don’t think we realise as a TV viewing public just how lucky we are. We have, alive in our world, possibly the closest thing we could see to Houdini himself. It is as if we can step back in time to the era of magical revolution and experience first hand those terrifying and amazing feats of the spectacular that shocked and awed the world. But this is on a different level entirely. You life will not be complete until you see this man on stage. I promise you.