At times controversial, but never anything less than impressive, mentalist extraordinaire Derren Brown has become one of the country's best known performers and made himself one of the most - if not the most - extraordinary and impressive performers living today; as much admired for his unique talents as vilified for his more controversial stunts. He has been compared to a Jedi and dubbed the scariest man in Britain; there have been calls for him to be banned and to be burnt at the stake.
Derren was born in London and privately educated at Whitgift School in South Croydon. He then studied law and German at Bristol University where he witnessed a hypnosis show by Martin Taylor. This was the stimulus that inspired him to choose a career as a magician hypnotist. During his undergraduate years Derren Brown began to give stage shows at the university, and performed close up magic at local bars and restaurants.
He became a prolific writer on all things magical and it wasn’t long before Derren came to the attention of TV executives who launched his first show, “Mind Control” in 2000. It was an instant success and both his numerous series and specials have received many industry award nominations with “DERREN BROWN: MIND CONTROL” winning The Silver Rose in the Variety Category at Rose d'Or Montreux 2003.
Derren Brown revolutionised the art of mentalism and removed it from a traditional format to a whole new concept of exciting and popular entertainment. Derren openly confirms that he does not possess any supernatural powers, and his performances often expose the methods of those that do, such as faith healers and psychic mediums. He makes it very clear that his performances are simply demonstrations using psychology, intuition, hypnosis, interpretation of body language and the power of suggestion. He also utilises the magicians traditional tools of misdirection, sleight of hand, cold reading and showmanship.
Derren Brown lives a relatively quiet existence, loves classical music, and reads extensively about philosophy, existentialism, psychology, and kindred subjects. He has developed a love of painting with a number of his hauntingly beautiful portraits hanging in galleries. He also has a unique collection of curios and taxidermy. After a conservative Christian upbringing, Derren embraces atheism.
Derren continues to stimulate the senses and make a mark in the history of magic not with the usual brightly coloured stage props and sawing-in-half illusions, but with acts that challenge his audience’s intelligence and ability to comprehend the ingenious effects he creates using just his mind. He always leaves his audiences asking themselves, “How in the world did he do that?”
Derren Brown's after dinner performance for corporate and private events is 45 - 50 minutes of mind-reading and psychological manipulation, full of audience participation and sharp humour. He begins by making the whole audience stand and works with them as a whole, whittling them down through a psychological game to the least malleable of the group. Starting with one of these 'challengers', he then chooses his volunteers on an individual basis as he goes along (Derren will always check first with the client in case any guests would be inappropriate to call up).
The first volunteer forms the framework of the show, as she gambles light-heartedly in a game of wits with Derren throughout the act and tries to win a sizeable chunk of money. Volunteers are invited onto his stage to experience his 'mind-reading' and a series of stunning games and displays. He does not hypnotise them, yet the show is a jaw-dropping display of influence and unconscious control - a sort of psychological magic show.
The finish is a high-energy and hugely surprising finale using a random guest from the back of the room. The precise content of the show will vary from show to show, depending on Derren's volunteers, but he is charming, funny and respectful; as well as being a highly talented performer who ensures the audience are left amazed and with lots to eagerly talk about.
Tags for Derren Brown