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It isn’t easy reviewing a Derren Brown show - for a start the entire audience is requested not to divulge any details of what happens on stage, and then there’s the added problem of not wanting to look away, even for a second, to make notes.

But no matter how eagle-eyed you are, it’s impossible to work out how this master of mind control and psychological illusion does what he does. I’m still completely baffled as to how he manages to, apparently, read the minds - and unearth the secrets - of people randomly selected by the throw of a Frisbee winging its unpredictable way across the stalls or up into the circle. Or how specific items appear in places it seems impossible for them to have reached.

There’s no second act set piece this time - Underground is a compilation of mind-boggling elements from previous shows cleverly put together and with, as always, willing audience participation.

credit: Mark Douet

From start to finish, Brown is a consummate showman, seemingly effortlessly in control. He hypnotises, he misdirects – he even paints. If you’ve never seen him on stage before, make you sure you catch this limited run – and if, like me, you’ve been lucky enough to have seen his previous expertly crafted shows, grab the chance to be amazed, gently manipulated  – and mystified -  all over again.  

Playhouse, Northumberland Avenue, WC2N 5DE

Tube: Embankment / Charing Cross

Until 14th October 2017

Tickets £34.25 - £64.25 + premium seats


Theatre Review: Derren Brown - Underground
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