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Derren Brown – Svengali

Liverpool Empire
March 21 – March 26

Authors: Derren Brown, Iain Sharkey, Stephen Long
Director: Polly Findlay
Producer: Objective Management

Running Time: 2 hrs 45 mins.


There are a number of problems reviewing Derren Brown live, amongst which not actually being able to say anything about what takes place within this feats of illusionary spectacle for fear of spoiling the whole extravaganza for those yet to see it.


Derren Brown 2011Image ©


Another problem lies in being to able to adequately describe both the anticipation of Brown’s shows – a nervous, excited, giggling crowd snaking its way into a completely sold out fourth night of six in this vast auditorium is testament to this – and the sense of awe which ensues once the man steps on stage. Of course it is in this latter element which makes Derren Brown so successful. His charisma simply oozes from every pore and so physical forces his audiences to trust him enough to put themselves in “physical” danger once his Frisbees have found their victims, er, subjects.

Having seen each incantation of Brown’s performances – this is his tenth year in the spotlight and his fourth original tour – it is impossible to state just how different each is from its predecessor, although, clearly, the fundamentals are similar. Some ,such as Something Wicked This Way Comes, are edge-of-the-seaters, whereas Derren Brown Live, the original touring show, was very much more thought provoking. Svengali fits into this latter category comfortably. However, that is not to say that there isn’t a guarantee that you will come out of the theatre fully satisfied and shaking your head whilst asking yourself the age old question with a wistful smile on your face. That question being, of course, “how”, because head shaking and wonderment are pretty much a given having seen this man perform.

Chris High

Derren Brown - Enigma Review 2010 | Derren Brown Review 2007
Derren Brown review 2004


Click here to view details and book for the Liverpool Empire Theatre



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“Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit.” - Chris High 2003.
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