Writer: Derren Brown, Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor
Director: Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor
Reviewer: Matt Forrest
First of all, a word of warning: this article contains no spoilers! This is at the request of Derren Brown himself and I’m not willing to cross him after some of the outrageous feats witnessed over the course of a spellbinding two hours at The Lowry
Brown brings his sell-out West End sensation Miracle to Salford for a week of shows that will amaze, shock, baffle, and entertain in equal measures. As already stated, reviewers and audience members alike have been asked to keep the show’s secrets so as to not spoil the enjoyment of the show for future audience members; however, the least you know about the show the better as it will only serve to enhance your enjoyment.
The show is set into distinct halves. The first is the trademark trickery that made Brown famous. There is the most unusual storyboarding session ever, a rather odd dinner date, a helping hand from social media and a lesson in the different types of Quality Street chocolates there are. There are also a few set ups for later on the show, which will truly baffle and blow your mind in equal measure. This half of the show is a mixture of fun and silliness with a hint of danger.
Brown ison great form playing the role of showman: likeable, charming, at times self-deprecating, he is the master at putting the audience at ease. However, a show like this is only as good as the audience participating and all seem to go with it when selected by the various tools Brown has at his disposal, which include confectionary, an inflatable globe and a good old fashioned Frisbee.
The second half takes us on a different path, and where the show takes its name from: looking at evangelical faith healers and how they ‘con’ their way to making millions of dollars out of the vulnerable. Brown says he isn’t mocking people or their belief systems but takes offence by those exploiting people for their financial ends.
What follows is a healing on a mass scale of both physical and mental ailments as Brown hams up his role as evangelical faith healer attempting to spread positivity through the audience, and again revealing more of his showman persona. Then a host of eager volunteers are ready to share their story and how whatever had just happened had made them feel better.
Some of Brown’s show can get a little uncomfortable and doesn’t leave the positive: feel good vibe that Brown intended. I’m sure there were many in the audience who would disagree. There are elements of Miraclethat are truly jaw-dropping, however, some of it does leave a slightly sour aftertaste.
Overall this is an entertaining well-crafted show: the set design and visuals used are of the highest calibre and Brown is at the top of his game relishing his role of showman and trickster.
The show’s finale has to be seen to be believed and has the audience gasping in amazement and certainly will be discussed for years to come and worth the admission price alone
Runs until 11 June2016 | Image: Contributed