Our reviewer Jackie Davies steps into the world of Derren Brown who brings his Showman tour to Cardiff’s New Theatre this week!
‘Showman’ is Derren Brown’s first new show in five years, and an eager Cardiff audience wasted no time in showing their appreciation of him being back in their midst.
It is unbelievable that over 20 years have passed since his career started and most will remember him from his first TV show, Derren Brown: Mind Control which became an immediate success and launched him on a path that re-defined magic.
His first rule is ‘don’t talk about the show’ and whilst this makes things a tad difficult for a reviewer, rest assured you will not find any spoilers here.
In this new show, Brown doesn’t waste any time in encouraging audiences to participate, and there is certainly no shortage of volunteers to succumb to his unique and masterful control.
A single narrative runs throughout the performance, and all too easily the audience are drawn in as his soothing tones lull them into a false sense of security.
Acquiescent background music and an atmospheric set add to the mystery of the performance, and the audience are willingly taken on a journey encompassing hypnotism, telepathy, illusion and magic.
Throughout, I was very aware that I was in the company of a consummate professional who clearly had the audience in the palm of his hand. He cleverly builds his rapport around the volunteers eager to join him on stage, but even as a voyeur it is extremely difficult not to be caught up in the oddity of what you are witnessing.
The show certainly lived up to its title, and the themes of loss, grief and appreciation of life ultimately resounded with everyone.