Derren Brown: Miracle – A Miracle Indeed
In early January when a friend mentioned to me (Priyanka Rai) that Derren Brown was going to be performing his popular show Miracle at the Marlowe Theatre, I was suitably excited. With the cheapest tickets being £20.95, it seemed like an ideal fun filled night for a poor student like myself (although I did have to forgo food for the next two weeks – oh well).
Despite being an avid fan of Brown, I was more than a little sceptical about the authenticity of his act, whilst his shows all seemed so, dare I say ‘magical’, when watched in the comfort of my own home, I was convinced that seeing him live would shatter the illusion of his performance and that I’d easily be able to answer how his ‘’magic’’ worked. However, as you may have gathered from the oh so witty title of this review, rather than catching him out, I spent the two hour duration of the show so far on the edge of my seat that I thought I was going to actually fall onto the people below me. To be fair, if a few broken bones and the wrath of some disgruntled audience members meant that I would’ve been closer to Derren Brown, it definitely would’ve been worth it.
As Brown specifically requested at the beginning of his show that no spoilers be published online, there’s a lot that I can’t reveal about his performance, yet what I can say is that it was so much more than what I imagined it to be. Not only is Derren Brown a talented illusionist, he also has a quick wit to him that can rival most comedians, whilst some of his jokes were obviously pre-planned, the manner in which he was able to naturally inject his humour into the most nail biting of instances is what made the show all the more entertaining.
Talent and humour aside, one of the main reasons that Brown’s performance was so effective and why he has such a successful career is because his shows aren’t exclusively about illusions, they hold a wider meaning that tend to be a commentary on human nature. Whilst the manipulation of mind and body is the core of his act, his shows, Miracle specifically, emphasises how similar to the way that he is able to manipulate the audience through the messages he gives us, we are able to change our lives in the same manner through what we tell ourselves. Learning was something I never thought I’d do at a Derren Brown show, ironic considering I came to the show to avoid all the learning I was supposed to be doing that night.
The sentiment as well as humour and immense talent in Derren Brown’s Miracle was so overwhelmingly enjoyable, it even made my heart of stone swell with emotion. Ending his show with the poignant albeit cheesy phrase ‘You are the miracle’, I didn’t know whether I should manically clap or cry.