I now blog over at The Eyre Guide! This blog is an archive of my past posts.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Derren Brown's Infamous

Posted by Charlene // Tags: , , ,

I saw Derren Brown's newest show twice while I was on holiday in England (once in Hull and again in London) and it was wondrous both times!  Derren is an illusionist/hypnotist/magician/modern Sherlock Holmes (but not as antisocial!).  I find his work on television so fascinating, because they explore so many different things and highlight the power of the human mind.  And I am also fascinated by what seems to be Derren's dual personas - as a performer he is commanding and intense (sometimes even sinister) but his real personality seems much more self-effacing, a little shy and empathetic.  But his humor is evident all the time and his shows - with their combination of mind-boggling feats, quick wit and dry humor, and intelligent exploration of humanity's assumptions and beliefs are incredibly captivating and thought provoking.

In London at the Palace Theatre
Unfortunately this new live show "Infamous" will be touring for awhile and I mustn't reveal anything that happens in the show.  It's important to experience the show not knowing what happens.  But having seen Derren's previous live shows, which are always recorded and released after the end of the show's run, I can compare this show to his others.  The simplicity of the show's poster and the bareness of the stage highlights the stripped back nature of "Infamous".  Derren involves more stories and anecdotes from his life to shape what he does onstage.  There is also an inspirational side to the show that I love - I always love the shows Derren has done that try to inspire people.  Overall, "Infamous" is less "showy" than his previous shows, but no less dazzling because it is still impossible to figure out how he did the things he did.  Even after seeing the show twice!

In London, I did sit among what I think were a group of American students who were unfamiliar with Derren's work, and it was so fun to see their reactions in my periphery vision - reactions that mainly consisted of blatant denial and disbelief at what they were seeing.  I know something incredible is always around the corner in Derren's shows, but to see their reactions made the reveal so much more entertaining.  And interesting, because it seemed like their answer seemed to be that it was all a complete sham - the people from the audience were faking it or something like that.  And although it is a little bit of a sham - there is a trick somewhere, and not everything Derren says is to be believed, I believe Derren when he says there are no stooges in the audience because he has been doing this for many years, and surely someone would have come out with that story by now?  I think the real trick is how unaware we are of what the human mind is capable of.  And thanks to Derren, I think I am more aware.

I did wait stagedoor for Derren both times, and it was a crush of people, but even though both times Derren said he could only stay for "a few minutes" he stayed until everyone got an autograph which was so awesome of him!  I have to say, Derren Brown is sort of my idol so I was pretty starstruck, and I didn't say much, but at least I didn't faint!  Watch out for him on TV, because he has some sort of minor role (or major??) in Sherlock when it comes back!  And if you are in England and are in the mood to be amazed, puzzled, frustrated, creeped out, hypnotized, or rapturously delighted go see his show!

Watch clips on youtube!

And my Vine video at the stagedoor from when I saw the show in Hull.  Good times.

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  1. I haven't heard of him before. I am surprised his popularity hasn't popped over the ocean to America! I want to go!!!

    1. I am surprised too actually. I think he is planning to bring his live show to America sometime (though there have been rumors of that for awhile!) but if/when he does I really hope he gets more well known here!