Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, the eyes, the eyes, not around my eyes, look into my eyes…
That’s right, I went to see Derren Brown’s Svengali tour in Oxford a few weeks ago.
I must say, it was really rather good too (don’t worry, I won’t give any Svengali spoilers).
Besides, if you’ve already seen his other live shows on telly: Something Wicked This Way Comes, Enigma and Evening of Wonders, you’ll already know what to expect with Svengali – simply more of the same.
Until you see him live, it’s difficult to appreciate just how much of a naturally gifted showman Derren Brown really is. There’s always that thought in your mind that there’s some clever editing on TV, or at least some use of stooges. Now I’m 99% sure he doesn’t need to rely on or use either of those.
There was quite a lot of truly random audience participation in the show (my brother was picked on for a minute for instance) and, I suspect, also some ‘pseudorandom-ness’ going on too. But let’s face it, Derren’s whole act is just illusion, misdirection and trickery at the end of the day. On the trip back home, we’d already come up with plausible explanations for how Derren did 90% of Svengali and I’m pretty sure if I saw it again I could work out the other 10% too. Perhaps between us we’ve watched too many episodes of Breaking the Magicians’ Code: Magicians Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed.
Mind you, the ending was a little weird with a “is this supposed to be happening?” type vibe. Derren later blogged that he’d revised it, so I’m not sure if I saw the original or updated ending to the show. Either way, if you get chance to see Svengali live – it’s definitely worth the money.
“…and eyes open, wide awake.”