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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Derren Brown Live (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

eSamuels
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Years ago, I recall a friend telling me that he had been in a band and was tremendously excited because they were opening for Steve Martin, when Steve was at the top of his stand-up career.

After the first night, he was blown away by Martin's energy and most of all, his spontaneity. Well, night 2 turned out to be a big disappointment, as Steve did the same set, literally word-for-word....and my friend's shock was that it shattered his initial perception that so much of his performance was off-the-cuff. The crowd response was every bit as wild as the first night, but for my friend it was
as if he had just been told the truth about the Easter Bunny (if you haven't yet been informed about that, PM me!)

By night 3, the 'light went off' in his head, and he came to realize the brilliance of how this man had honed his routine to such a point that it came across as 100% unique and spontaneous every night, while his material and timing were absolutely impeccable. Not a moment was wasted; everything was scripted down to the second, but delivered like he was performing it for the very first time.

Another reminder why Martin sold so many millions of his comedy albums - which we listened to over and over and over again!

It's a lesson all performers need to learn (I was fortunate enough to pick it up early in my career when doing stand-up). People pay to see your best material, performed each night as if you're doing it exclusively for them.

I was reminded of this when I caught my very first (and second) Derren Brown live shows, nearly a week ago in Poole, in the South of England. Fortunate enough to have acquired superb seats to 2 consecutive nights at the Lighthouse Arts Centre, I went with the general idea to simply watch and enjoy the first night, and do a little more analysis and 'intel' the second.

Didn't quite happen that way, but I can say I don't regret having done the two nights, as it gave me an even greater appreciation for his performance mastery. Having read all his printed works, and seen most of his TV work, I certainly had an expectation that his stage show would be well put together. It was that and more, a master-class in process, pacing, and scripting.

I was reminded of the Steve Martin story when I realized on the second night that one of his routines (that I actually got to participate in the first night) could have quite easily been ever-so modified, for the sake of all the multiple-nighters in the audience (surely, I wasn't the only one!). And, to some extent, he did modify it, but in a far more subtle manner than I would have, making me appreciate his considered showmanship all the more.

Why this man is not (yet) a major star on this side of the pond (North America), is beyond me!

btw, for those from the South, I absolutely loved spending 2 days in Poole and the 3 nights I spent in Bath!
Virungan
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Interesting comments. I'm seeing his show in London next month (just once..!) Looking forward to it...
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
LLL
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I went to it on monday, and also went to it last year (same show), and like stated above its good demonstration of a perfectly scripted and honed show.
last year my partner was involved in the oracle act, and this year I was... I even got to plant a few seeds after when asked if I had written anything down, performers helping performers and all that. DB is an awesome showman. I even got to meet Andy Nyman after the show as well who was lovely.

Mescalito
The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words.
Jay Are
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It is for the above posts alone that as a Canadian, I am forever jealous of the british people...
xxx
eSamuels
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Hey Jay. I too am from the "G.W.N" (Vancouver to be specific).....that's what travel is for!

As soon as I knew I was heading to the U.K., I hit Ebay (ebay.co.uk) and scored tickets to the 2 shows in Poole (would have gone just about anywhere!). Highlight of an altogether amazing trip!

e
Virungan
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Am also not a Brit... though live a bit closer than a Canuck... I got great seats for his West End show online through ticketmaster.. though I hear they are now hard to get hold of..
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
iambest
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If it's not a secret. How much does the ticket cost through some online ticket shop??
Virungan
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Best seats go for 40 quid at the London shows (front stalls and front dress circle)... the rear stalls and rear circle are 29 quid.
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
Virungan
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Correction- just checked- the cheapest are 22 pounds- there are also some mid-range seats at 35...

Here's the ticket master link..

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/artist/933341
Smile When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth...Smile
eSamuels
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Also worth checking out Ebay as well....I really scored amazing seats, literally Front-row centre!

Certainly paid a little more, but it was well worth it.
Daniel Nicholls
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I can't wait to finally see him. Maybe I will one day.
Close your eyes. Open your senses.
Beetroot
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I was up in the balcony looking down at the top of Stan's head so I can tell you just how good his seats were!

I concur with Stan that this was a great performance. Derren is the only mentalist I've seen live so I have nothing to realistically compare against but everything about the show is top notch. If you take away the actual effects and just look at the presentation, humour, tension and pacing it's clear what a tremendous performer Derren is (and how well the show is constructed).

This is not necessarily a fair comparison but I have DVDs of a few other performers who have, in my mind, really good material in terms of their effects and effect construction but in terms of presentation they are a miles away from Derren.

Highly recommended!

Beetroot
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