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What to say about a show that you’re not allowed to say anything about?

Several times during the course of a superbly entertaining evening, Derren Brown – psychological illusionist and mentalist extraordinaire – entreated punters and critics alike not to divulge what goes on in over two and half hours of mind-boggling entertainment.

But I’m sure he won’t object to my saying that he’s a first rate showman who continues to astound every time he appears on stage, holding the audience in the palm of his hand throughout and accomplishing the seemingly impossible – be it mathematical calculations, feats of memory or soliciting visits from beyond the grave.

Somehow, he seems to get right inside people’s heads and, as one would expect, audience participation features large, ranging from a few moments with a microphone to zoning out on stage during the interval, with the majority of the selections decided, in egalitarian fashion, by the random throw of a high-flying Frisbee.      

With co-writer and director Andy Nyman, Brown has put together a slick show built less on shock factor than previously and more on personal confession.  

But I’ve still got absolutely no idea how he does what he does. He may, as he reveals, have been called “dickbrain” at school, but those brains of his have stood him in pretty good stead ever since and I just hope they’re already mulling over the contents of his next mind-bending production.

Palace Theatre
Shaftesbury Avenue, W1V 8AY 
Tube | Leicester Square / Tottenham Court Road
Until 17th August£16 - £51
nimaxtheatres.com

Photo: SeamusRyan


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Theatre review: Derren Brown - Infamous at Palace Theatre
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