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Review: Derren Brown Returns to Curve Theatre with Showman Tour

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By Romail Gulzar

Derren Brown has long been Britain’s most perplexing one-man show, astonishing and amazing television and theatre audiences with his mind trickery. After all, his shows have received more Olivier wins and nominations than any other in history. 

But after a six year break from the stage, in part due to the pandemic, the announcement of his new nationwide Showman tour caused a ripple of anticipation of what the master of control and illusion would now be bringing to the stage. 

Picture Credit: Curve theatre

With the tour travelling around the country between 28 August 2021 and 29 October 2022, the showman is performing at Leicester’s Curve theatre between 19th – 23rd October 2021. 

I attended an evening show to witness the spectacle and see what the illusionist would now be able to pull off. As the magic of the show comes from the element of surprise, of course, I won’t be spoiling the show’s tricks but what I can say is that my visit left me spellbound throughout.

For those who are familiar with the work of Derren Brown, often the only thing to be expected from him is the unexpected. It’s almost a given that his performance will leave you shocked or scratching your head for the secrets of his trickery. And of course, the Derren Brown: Showman tour was no different in this sense. Audience members were plucked and engaged in the show, tricks were as creative as ever and the impossible was seemingly made possible.

So although much was what you’d expect from a Derren Brown show, what was fresh and new were the themes he explored in his performance. It was, in most parts, more personal and emotional than other work that Derren Brown is most well known for. But this was readily received by the audience who from beginning to end, remained enthralled, despite a ten-minute delay in the second half due to a technical hitch.

Picture credit: Curve theatre

Derren Brown: Showman offered something for everyone, as reflected by the diverse demographic it had attracted and was an eagerly-anticipated addition to the Leicester theatre.

All in all, it was a show where not a minute was wasted and well worthy of the standing ovation it received last night. It’s impressive, at times profound and always engaging – deserving of a five star review. 

For tickets to remaining Leicester dates, please visit Curve theatre’s website.

Restaurants and bars in the cultural quarter often offer deals to theatre goers which are worth looking out for, with some venues such as Chutney Ivy conveniently offering both a pre and post-theatre menu.

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