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Derren Brown: Something Wicked This Way Comes review at Cambridge Theatre London

If you approach the Cambridge Theatre at any time over the next month or so, you will be greeted by a 20 ft poster of Derren Brown’s face, beaming down at you in the street and spilling self-confidence onto the steps of the venue. It is a good preparation for what he has in store for you inside.

For while many a solo performer might struggle to fill a West End venue such as the Cambridge, it nearly bursts under the strain of this illusionist’s hugely magnetic presence and (equally sizeable) ego.

But you can’t begrudge him it – strutting across the stage like a peacock, chest puffed out and charming the audience into submission, Brown is a hugely talented illusionist and much funnier than you could have any right to expect.

His tricks range from the mind-boggling (in the show’s more sedate first half) to awe-inspiring (after the interval). This is an evening of superlative entertainment and Brown is a superlative entertainer at the top of his game. It is obvious he is as much at home in the theatre as he is on a television screen.

Indeed, just as it has been on TV, his greatest achievement is in taking the fusty world of magic and dragging it by its faded velvet lapels into the 21st century. For in many ways Brown is an old-fashioned illusionist, something to which both his set – with its vaudeville atmosphere – and his patter attests, but, by giving his tricks the veneer of science and psychology, he makes them appeal to a modern, and supposedly more savvy, audience.

As the show approached its climactic moment, Brown asked all the journalists present not to report the specifics of his show, as it would ruin the fun for everyone else – and quite frankly I’m inclined to agree with him. So you will just have to go and see him for yourself.

Production Information

Cambridge Theatre, London, May 31-July 2

Derren Brown, Andy Nyman
Andy Nyman
Objective Productions
Derren Brown
Running time
2hrs 30 mins

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