Review: Derren Brown Showman at Opera House, Blackpool Winter Gardens

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The infamous illusionist came to Blackpool with his latest tour, Showman

 

Derren Brown
Derren Brown

Just before his show finished, Derren Brown asked the audience not to disclose anything about what they had seen, on social media or in any kind of review.

In all honesty, it’s common knowledge that Derren, and most magicians and illusionists for that matter, rely on intrigue and mystery, so splurging details about secrets of their shows would spoil it for those yet to see it.

What I can tell you however, is that Derren’s latest offering, Showman, is personal, for him and his audience.

This is something, Derren hinted at himself four days before the first of three shows at Blackpool’s Opera House on Friday (October 1),in a pre-recorded video on Twitter.

In it he requested anyone heading to see the performance, which is his first tour in six years, to bring along an object from home that has personal significance, and small enough to hide in their hand.

Tip: if you are attending one of the other two Blackpool shows on Saturday (October 2) I recommend taking along exactly what Derren has requested.

The audience plays a pivotal part in almost everything he does, so if sticking your hand up in the hope you’ll get a go up on stage is your thing, you must go to a Derren Brown show.

Derren is aware of his sceptics and openly challenges their theories and inevitable dismissive thoughts on what they see and how he pulls his tricks, mind games and hypotheses off.

But even I, having been convinced beforehand that I wouldn’t be wowed at all, was still left reeling from a number of his stunts several hours later.

The show ebbs and flows, with slower periods but Derren has a knack for keeping you focused for the whole two-hours.

What also intrigued me was Derren’s ability to ooze charm and warmth one minute, while also being sinister and methodical the next.

He’s witty, charismatic and familiar and behind the atmospheric music, choreographed lighting and booming sound effects, there’s just a normal guy wanting to share how the mind works.

Showman is enthralling and confusing, funny and sweet and Derren’s delivery and engrossing presence completes the perfect illusionist concoction.