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Derren Brown, Showman: a baffingly good show

Derren Brown’s phenomenal show Showman arrived in Cardiff tonight (Tuesday 29 March) to a standing ovation from an appreciative – and at times baffled – audience at the New Theatre.

The multi-award winning master of mind control and illusion is on a massive eight-month UK tour – his biggest for 20 years.

Reviewers and audiences are asked not to reveal any of the show’s content, which makes this an interesting challenge!

I’ll just say that, however sceptical you may be about magicians, hypnotists and illusionists, this show will have you asking yourself ‘How the heck did he do that?!’ ‘What did I just see?’ or simply ‘WHAT???’.

One of the brains behind Showman is the brilliant Andy Nyman, who gave us the unforgettable Ghost Stories, and this is equally unforgettable for different reasons.

Brown does reveal: “The heart of the show is about remembering what’s important. Like how the very things that we find most isolating in life – our fears and difficulties – actually connect us.”

It’s a truly extraordinary theatrical experience, unlike anything I’ve seen.

At times it’s deeply emotional (I confess watery eyes more than once), it’s often funny, and then it hits you with something so mindblowingly impossible, you literally can’t believe it.

Derren Brown: Showman plays at the New Theatre until Saturday (April 2). Most shows are sold out, but some tickets are still available from the box office 0343 310 0041 or online. If you can get one, go! You won’t regret it.

Review by Andy Weltch

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