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For the first time in a long while, I kicked back and watched a full programme last night – a programme called “Derren Brown – The Gathering“. The eager amongst you will notice I’ve talked about Derren before – in fact, this well-rounded post talks about a previous, well-publicised Derren show. That post caused all sorts of people to flock to wibbler.com and became the second most popular post on the site. So, why not talk about him again?
Derren, if you don’t know, markets himself as a psychological illusionist, manipulating his subjects to do what he wants. Last night’s audience was chock full of British celebrities, all carted off to the event in blacked-out coaches to hide their destination. A large, dimly-lit stage confronted them on their arrival and for the next one and a half hours Derren performed his psychological tricks. And, as ever, they were impressive. He guessed people’s answers with astonishing regularity, seemed to have memorised the entire London streetmap – even down to the grid reference and page numbers of roads.
Or did he? His mental feats seem so unbelievably impressive that he is always going to draw in the critics. As ever, DigitalSpy has a good discussion going on the pros and cons of the performance, but almost everyone agrees on one thing – whatever the suspicions about his mental trickery, Derren Brown is a damn good entertainer. And that is, after all, how he pays the bills.