Posts Tagged ‘Derren Brown’

Misplaced Faith

April 26, 2011

I’ve always liked Derren Brown. I remember seeing him years ago performing card hustles and (by his own standards) simple mind-reading tricks on chat shows and naff entertainment programmes which barely lasted a series. After that I watched with interest as his star moved firmly towards the ascendent. His series Mind Control and then Tricks Of The Mind were a consistently fascinating mixture of sleight of hand, NLP, suggestion and showmanship. I loved the way he put one and frequently two over on members of the public and, pleasingly, po-faced celebrities. Around that time I saw him perform live in The Waterfront, Belfast, and was bamboozled by the range and scale of mental and physical stunts he pulled off so effortlessly. The show’s denouement involved a lengthy and convoluted routine  which involved making the entire audience think of a specific word. Just before the word was revealed I whispered “Symposium” under my breath. Sure enough, “Symposium” was the magic word. My brain reverberated like a boiled ham in a pot as Derren tore open a brown envelope which had been visible in an upstanding  clasp all evening to display the word written on a very long piece of paper. The auditorium rumbled with a collective intake of breath. My eyeballs juddered in their sockets and, a slight feeling of nausea notwithstanding, I was pretty astounded by what I had just witnessed and experienced. I felt like one of those mopes Derren diddled in Tricks Of The Mind: amazed at Derren’s audacity, envious of his ability and slightly irked that I possessed no such abilities.