Easily influenced? Maybe we all are…

DerrenAnyone in the UK with a TV license has probably seen a programme by this guy, Derren Brown. If you’re not in the UK, or don’t have TV reception, check out clips of his shows here. (A TV license, for those not in the UK doesn’t mean you get to broadcast anything, it means you get to watch TV. You pay a yearly fee to be able to accept television signals into your home.) This man, Derren Brown, currently has himself a West End live stage show running and we coughed up some dough to see it last night. The performance was half made up of what you’d see on his TV specials on 4, and half made up of things that the station won’t let him do on television for liability reasons… No one under 12 years of age was permitted for the second half of the show.

It seems Mr Brown has been difficult to classify as a performer. What he isn’t often is easier to put into words than what he is. He’s not a Copperfield or a Houdini. He’s not a Blaine. He’s not a Jim Rose… He is perhaps more intriguing and subtly frightening than any other illusionist going now or ever. As quoted from his site:

Derren Brown is a unique force in the world of illusion – he can seemingly predict and control human behaviour.
He doesn’t claim to be a mind-reader, instead he describes his craft as a mixture of magic, suggestion, psychology, misdirection and showmanship.
Whatever you choose to call it, his unparalleled performances amaze and unsettle all those who watch him. This is a powerful and provocative form of entertainment, unlikely to be imitated for a long while.

He is fascinating. I shudder to think how what this man can do is used in a less pure form in everyday marketing & advertising! To know there are individuals out there, passionate enough to put substantial effort into in-depth study of both psychology and illusionist trickery makes you want to seal the doors and not answer the phone! I was a rabid X-files fan for years and can only hear the mantra “Trust No One” when I think of the endearingly everyday-man personna that Derren Brown slips into your tea whilst putting the whammy on you! I loved the show, and love the television series. He is a one of a kind performer. See the West End show if you can, and definitely set your Sky box to record his series on 4. Now then, I have at least 14 items on my list of things to do today…