Review: Derren Brown - Miracle

Derren Brown: Pic: Channel 4
Derren Brown: Pic: Channel 4
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SUFFERING from a debilitating ailment or serious injury? You might want to think twice about attending Derren Brown’s latest show, Miracle.

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The Playhouse

As the title suggests, the mentalist’s centerpiece demonstrates the way evangelical pastors often use hypnosis and suggestion to con the vulnerable out of body, mind and money. He makes a valid point, it’s just a shame he has to risk further health problems for some audience members in trying to prove that. It may make uncomfortable viewing for some.

Before all this, though, Brown treats his audience to various mindplay segments, all of which have been done before in Scotland, many of them better executed and with a bigger build up of suspense. The only difference is the manner in which Brown decorates them. The themes (things that make you happy, being more in control of your life) did bring about the nicest moment of the evening, a sharp exchange that gave one young woman the confidence to take risks in her life. Even the Evening News took centre stage at one point in the show. To say more would spoil the surprise.

Derren Brown is a charismatic, highly skilled entertainer. He’s witty, intelligent, and knows how to interact with his audience. Hypnosis remains a vital part of his act, and while no-one can doubt his cold-reading ability, his veering down the fundamentalist skeptic route appears ill-advised, however, good his intentions.

So, Miracle is a bit of a mixed bag. Poor camera lighting, equally poor sound and time-consuming set-ups don’t help matters, but it ticks all the boxes for his devoted fans. Indeed, many gave the 44-year-old a standing ovation. For others... that would indeed take a miracle.

Run ends Saturday