Note: This review is for the 2021 theatre tour of Derren Brown’s ‘Showman.’
The Bloke visited The Alexandra Theatre last night to watch Derren Brown and his latest show, Showman.
What makes this review difficult is that it is challenging to describe the show without giving any spoilers. With over 20 years of appearances on the stage and screen, Derren Brown is a household name that is known for his ability to trick the mind into believing a different reality.
“All I can reveal is that the show will ultimately be about you, the audience member, because that’s what I find most interesting. There are places I’d like to take the audience where we haven’t been before. I always aim to have it deliver more than you’d expect. I’m excited to be at the starting point of that process. Getting it on the road will be my favourite part of the year.” – Derren Brown.
I’ve seen many of his television broadcasts and have always been impressed by his work, but I arrived at the theatre a little skeptical.
Before the show Derren asked us to bring something sentimental that can be held in the palm of your hand, which I did.
I was genuinely gobsmacked (in a positive way) by some of the events that happened throughout the show.
Derren Brown weaves a tapestry of emotions and showmanship, pulling in threads from his own personal life and intertwining them with tricks of the mind that often leave you questioning your recollection of reality.
For the faint hearted, be assured that everything which takes place never leaves you with a feeling of uneasiness, if anything you feel surrounded by a comforting atmosphere, supported by Derren’s relaxing tones.
The skills shown on stage are both a nod to the early origins of such showmanship and a modern day follow up. Although I can’t divulge any details, out of respect for the show and future audiences, I can certainly say there is something for everyone in the performance. For those who are seated far away from the stage, there is a cameraman on stage to provide close ups of what is going on, so you never feel cheated or left out.
What I loved most about the show was that I was left questioning myself about different events on stage. Did it happen? Did I blank out for a few seconds?
Clearly, the audience felt the same – mutterings between baffled audience members could be heard around the theatre.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster and a thoroughly fantastic performance, and I felt privileged to have been a witness to it.
Derren Brown’s “Showman” will be on stage at the Alexandra Theatre until Saturday 20th October. Be aware – this is an enormously popular show! To purchase your tickets, visit here.