Monday, 8 March 2010

Derren Brown Enigma Tour 2010 review Eastbourne No Spoilers

Derren Brown Enigma Tour
Congress Theatre
8,9,10 March 2010
(Show seen 8 March)

Derren Brown is a bit of an enigma himself.

Is he a magician, mentallist, hypnotist, talented artist, actor ,comedian, showman, conman or something else?

The truth is he's a mixture of all these things and more.

You really need one word to sum up all these characteristics in one - GENIUS will do nicely.

Derren Brown performs a unique piece of theatrical magic which few others can do these days...... he can fill a theatre with a practically guaranteed sell out on every performance.

Derren Brown Enigma Tour 2010On this first night at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne even seats that are normally classed as "restricted view" had bottoms on them. The Derren Brown phenomenon is that huge an attraction.

If you have stumbled upon this review before any others, congratulations, you have found one of the very few which will not spoil the act for you before you see the show. I searched Google before penning my verdict and was horrified at the pleasure some people have taken in describing every part of this great production.

It's madness. Derren pleads with people not to spoil the show for others yet so many decide to do just that. I noticed one lady's comments online. Derren had used her watch during a performance and after the show she met him and said how nice he was. How good it was of him to personalize the programme even thanking her for the prop use in his written dedication. However, that did not stop her putting online, in a blog, the complete Enigma act. Yes every single routine was detailed beginning to end, together with her mad theories on how these things were done. Two words. Silly cow!

The set is magical itself. It is truly befitting of a master of mystery, a perfectionist in illusions, a leader in the art of deception, a magnificent performer and a true expert in the narration of both fact and utter waffle!

Derren Brown is, in his field, unique. Nobody else I have ever seen has ever clearly used random selection so effectively in their performance. It doesn't matter if you are sitting in the front row in the stalls or at the back of the most upper circle. He will use his unique frisbee throwing method to pick people from all corners of the auditorium. At some point in the show he also visits every "floor" personally as part of the act. He flits around the auditorium so quickly like he has "ants in his pants".

Derren is also one of the few magicians, both on TV and in his show, who will genuinly give away a minor magic secret in magic to his audience. But he does not betray any 'magician's code' in doing so as there is always an effect on a much larger scale which follows. Anything that is "given away" is little more than an effect you will find in a small child's first magic book.
Derren Brown signs for a fan who has waited in the cold
I think, in doing this, he invites his audience to really try to discover the secrets behind his tricks, to test him. In doing so new ideas materialize and his act gets sharper.

From the very start this show is engrossing - almost 2 and a half hours just flies by.

For anybody, like me, who has a little bit of knowledge in the workings of amateur and professional magic you can identify with a degree of certainty the methods behind a few of the "tricks" and illusions performed. But even on these relatively straightforward tricks Mr Brown has his degree in deception, distraction and banter (both the factual and waffle variety) to throw you off track.

Look I promised no spoilers and that's the way it's staying. But everybody likes to come away from a magic show with the ability to say "I know how he did that" for at least 1 trick.

A tip for anybody who wants to come away with such a feeling. Concentrate! But concentrate on everything. Forget about what you think you saw and instead think about what you didn't see. Think about how the props used actually work in everyday life. These are the same instructions Derren gives in his TV shows.

Do all this and you will learn something about deception and the art of magic. However whilst I am confident about how 5 of the more "trivial" effects were undertaken I do not have the faintest bloody idea how the major illusions and mind reading effects were done. Also from the "spoiler reviews" I have had the misfortune to read the mind reading sequences differ totally between venues making it all the more intriguing.

In two years time, if Derren continues his biennial new shows, I will be there to concentrate that little bit more.

One thing I am certain about is that people in "trances" who take part in the show, regardless of the selection process, are not known to Derren Brown. Being at the stage door after a show can have it's benefits. Amongst the very long queue (the longest we have seen outside the theatre for ANY  artist) on a really freezing night a couple of his victims waited with everybody else for autographs and pictures.

It was quite clear from one of the females who took part that she had absolutely no idea what had gone on as she excitedly recounted her memories to the friends who had gone to the theatre with her.

Because Derren had visitors, allowed in, after the show it was a very long wait for him to emerge. There is no way that any sane person who is in any way connected to him would willingly stand in absolutely freezing conditions for about 20-25 minutes.

I should also add that despite his delayed exit and the long queue that greeted him Derren took time to meet and greet everybody who had endured the cold with photos permitted as he progressed down the queue.

It's always nice to see somebody who has reached this level of fame who still has time to meet the people who pay to see them.

Derren Brown is regularly described online as a brilliant showman. That he is indeed but he is also an incredibly talented artist. This may not be known to some but his mainly celebrity based artwork deserves a mention.

The Enigma Tour is a show that needs to be appreciated without being ruined by a review that tells you what is going to happen. So if you are going soon I hope this has whetted your appetite a little and that you have as good a night out as we did.

This score is a complete formality.  
5 out of 5 for Derren Brown's Enigma Tour 2010

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  1. cant wait now....going tomorrow night in Dublin!!! aah!!!

  2. i wnet to see him 3 days ago was fantastic cant get song out of head lol :D

  3. I went to see the show at Eastbourne myself (having previously seen it a few times at Crawley). Derren asked us, the audience, at the end to keep 'all the suprises a surprise'. So yes, it is annoying then to pop onto Twitter and see certain parts of the show described on there by people who can't keep things to themselves. I was lucky in that I somehow managed to know nothing of the show before I saw it.
    All that aside, Enigma is indeed simply wonderful. And Derren, whom I've met a few times now, is polite, warm, friendly and a sheer delight to meet.


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