Writer: Derren Brown
Director: Andy Nyman
Reviewer: John Roberts
Infamous takes everything we have come to admire and know Derren Brown for – large scale tricks and sideshow showmanship and strip it right back, including his trademark Goatee. However that isn’t to say the show isn’t a dazzling feat of ingenuity, memory, dexterity and suggestion, because it is.
Infamous may not have the razzle-dazzle of Svengali or the heart-stopping moments of Something Wicked This Way Comes but what this show does have is a blissfully intimate feel which puts the audience on a slightly different level with the mentalist than we have witnessed before.
We are cleverly manipulated as audience members into a quiet ease, the set is reminiscent of a calm and relaxing old gothic church chapel, where streams of light fill the auditorium like sun shining through a window – and this sets the tone of the show brilliantly. This is Derren’s most personal show yet, a sharing confessional of his struggles brings a level of vulnerability which we rarely see – however the cynical side of me questions just how vulnerable he is being and if this isn’t another clever mask designed by Brown and Nyman to help facilitate the trajectory of the evening.
What you can’t deny though is Derren’s skill set, not only is he pitch perfect when interacting with the audience – he has an air of friendly authority, with a cheeky level of banter that never crosses the line, he seems warm and compassionate, yet still cuts an air of mystery and distance and its all these combined that draw you in like a paperclip to a magnet.
He is clearly a master of his craft, years of training and dedication bring some of the most mind-bending feats of memory and agility to the stage. Derren has asked reviewers and audience members not to reveal the contents of the show and to allow audience members the right to enjoy the performance without any outside factors bearing in on their judgment and I for one won’t spoil that.
Infamous does however use the thrust of the performance to debunking mediumship (and quite rightly too), how he does it, is enjoyable, there are lots of nice twists and turns in the evening and his finale will mean I can never read Shakespeare, ride a bus or look at rice in the same way again.
A genuinely enjoyable evening, with a master showman who has the perfect balance between mystery and illustration – one can’t wait to see what the minds of Brown and Nyman come up with next. Secretly one wishes for their darkest show yet…
Photo: Seamus Ryan | Runs until Sat 21st June