Derren is the ultimate Showman, a master at controlling the mind and crowds for his opening night at the Blackpool Opera House and it's gripping

If there was one thing from the last 18 months we've taken from the ups and downs, over and outs - it was a shared experience.

Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 9:41 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd October 2021, 9:42 am
Derren Brown Showman at the Blackpool Opera House

No matter your age, gender, background, race, religion, identity career - your wealth ,the global pandemic did not discriminate. Life whilst isolated was the same for everybody else.

And without giving anything away - it is this thing called life and our own experiences of it that Derren Brown seeks to explore for his latest show 'Showman.'

Life choices. We all have to make them but how easily can we be side-tracked, distracted from what we each truly desire, really want to see. What influences really make a difference to the lives we envisage for ourselves and how do we get to the end without living in regret - what risks are we prepared to take to achieve fulfilment.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

It all seems a little deep, a touch obscure but that is the ride that 'Showman' is. It has a beginning, a middle and an end, although throughout the audience are constantly second guessing whether that will be the case.

To discuss just what audiences will experience does not necessarily spoil the journey but ultimately will give very little as what to expect because with such a great deal of audience participation - no presentation of Showman on this tour will ever be the same.

Some of the illusions/magic/mental mind work might work - it might not. Guaranteed you won't be left disappointed either way. Those taking part work best if they are nervous, unsure. It adds to the allure. Nobody in the theatre needs someone to play the Showman.

The most gripping elements are when the audience are deathly silent and allowing Brown to meticulously take his time - you want him to have that thinking space to leave no stone unturned as it will promise the goods.

The show opening at Blackpool Opera House took those eagerly awaiting by surprise. The intrigue around that scene, took a little longer than anticipated to finally reveal itself and when it did - it was worth the wait.

The only criticism would be directed at the audience itself - there seemed an awful lot of noise in the Opera House at times, more than any previous show and lots of movement too.

Having not seen Brown live before I had zero idea if it was part of the concept, white noise or disturbance a diversion tactic against the dramatic lights and sound on stage. But it was irritating.

Showman brings tender moments, sad moments, funny times, wow moments, astonishment and it's all wrapped up in love. Ultimately it really is the game of life.

If you get a chance to see the show and how it evolves it all becomes clear.

Derren Brown Showman, Opera House.

More shows today at 2.30pm and 7.30pm