Derren Brown: Miracle – Milton Keynes Theatre

Writers: Derren Brown, Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor

Directors: Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor

Reviewer: Natasha Hegarty

Derren Brown: Illusionist, mind-reader, hypnotist and showman extraordinaire. The magician’s latest spectacle is Miracle, which explores just that. There are miracles in everything – we’re miracles – and he certainly performs them.

As ever, he requests that those who have seen the show do not reveal anything of the content so as not to spoil it for any who have yet to see it. This sort of show is far more exciting when you don’t know what’s coming – and why would anyone not want to do what Derren Brown tells them to do?

Act one is very much him showing off all his impressive tricks that magicians are known for though with his own unique twist. They have the audience scratching their heads and wondering just how he does them. Every trick and illusion is very, very impressive and he never once insults the audience’s intelligence – in fact, he tells the audience exactly what he’s doing most of the time and it’s still a surprise in the end.

Act two is quite different where he examines another kind of ‘miracle’ and attempts to perform it on willing audience members. Without giving anything away, it’s fabulous to watch and even if you don’t believe in any of it, it’s highly entertaining, edge of your seat stuff that has audience members starring wide-eyed in surprise at it all.

Not only is Brown a showman, but a wonderfully warm entertainer who handles the unpredictability of a live audience with ease. It’s easy to feel intimidated – and even a little frightened – by some of his tricks, but no matter what he asks the audience to do, they do it.

The impressive set and lighting, designed by Simon Higlett and Tim Mascall respectively, immediately draws you in. He uses video projection throughout to add another dimension to the show and it works incredibly well. As the audience enter, a giant ticking clock is projected onto the set, making the show a show before it’s even kicked off. He uses the video projection to tell the story in Act one and to draw you into the wider audience in Act two, making the show seem bigger than just who is watching in the theatre. He also draws on Twitter to help with the show – which very much makes it not only interactive, but unique every time it’s performed.

He is known for creating some of the most incredible illusions and mind tricks by any magician and pushing boundaries in sometimes quite a terrifying way. This show is very much focused on psychology and looking at human behaviour and how we react to things and is really a fascinating thing to behold. In a Derren Brown show, there’s no sawing people in half nor card tricks, it’s all very intelligently performed, hugely entertaining and completely interactive.

It makes you question everything. Are there plants in the audience? Not likely as there’s so many people needed for all his tricks and they’re chosen in such random ways for most of the tricks it is pretty much impossible. In fact, people queue to get up on stage and take part.

He’s a master of his art and whether you’re a sceptic or a complete believer, you’ll exit the theatre wondering just how you’ve just witnessed the spectacle on stage. No one is disappointed.

Runs until: Saturday 20 February 2016 | Image: Contributed

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