INFAMOUS, My One Night Affair With Derren Brown

A few weeks back while waiting to buy Arctic Monkeys tickets Ticketmaster threw out a suggestion of Derren Brown Infamous tour for mid March. I drooled I had no idea there was an upcoming tour. The search for the tickets began and I managed to scoop up the last two seats. My undying obsession started years back when he started to make more regular shows on Chanel 4, and I was drawn in with Trick or Treat. And who can forget the kitten in the cage incident! If you have not seen it watch it, in this particular episode a woman is urged to NOT kill the kitten…I will say no more. I later went back and explored his mesmerizing works while in college and explored some of his studies of placebo effects and suggestion. I honestly fell in love with his mind and the genius that was Derren Brown, only to be heartbroken to find out that he was gay and realised our love can never be. Nevertheless my obsession continued.

This was my first show.

Derren insists on not spoiling it for others and asks to keep the shows content under wraps and for those writing reviews to “make it up” to respect his years of work and practice I wont go telling. I needed however to share my experience. The show also had strict rules of no photographs and as much as I felt the urge to take a few snaps to illustrate my experience I kept my phone in my bag.

Running a little late, with the show starting 7.30 sharp I found myself in a lift in the Bord Gais Theatre (Dublin) making my way to the 4th floor with 4 other chatter boxes with Northern Irish accents. Without being rude I overheard their concerns of not knowing what to expect and their lack of knowledge of who Derren Brown was. I was jealous, they were in for a treat. There is nothing like being pleasantly surprised.

The stage setting was beautiful with stone wall like surroundings, the stage was a home for several props and furniture that was carried in and out by the crew. It was a proper theatrical experience. So perfectly timed a camera person would flow in and out to give the audience a zoom of more detailed view which was projected on the walls. The theme of the show was carried out throughout and as Derrens charisma is bouncing from wall to wall of the theatre he tells us about his childhood and bullying. The message of the night was encouraging as he goes on to inform us of silly names people had made up for him while in school and us “Dickbrains” to be different all in positive light. His storytelling makes it clear that he was different from the start and his mind is nothing but genius.

The audience was invited to be hypnotized and this was amusing and somewhat bizarre to see, on TV it always feels so unrealistic but when your sitting beside someone who is 100% in deep sleep you become a believer.

Without spoiling the show there was one part which had me questioning everything. I understand the concept of reading people, their behavior, manipulation etc, however Derren pulled out something out of the hat that I did not expect. One part of the show explores the idea of Mediums and trickery. As much as he insisted that the he has no such powers and that the deceased would not contact the living through a randomer he showed some mind blowing knowledge of audiences passed loved ones. Maybe because I would like to think in the greater power or ever the idea that there is such thing as ghosts and spirits I reject the idea that he managed to pull personal information about individual attendees out of the air. I know how silly it might sound… Spirits etc. But maybe thats just my ignorance of reality.

Overall the show did not disappoint and for two and a half hours of getting your mind blow 35 euro is a steal.



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