Go as a cynic and come out as a believer. Rebecca Cohen is mesmerised by Derren Brown's show, Infamous.
14 Jun 2014
Picture the scene: a solitary chair, table, clock and easel decorate The Lowry's stage as the audience make their way into the 2,500 seater Lyric Theatre.
This is an understated set, and one that you cannot imagine being utilised in such a way that it will grip the attention for hours on end. But you could not be more wrong.
Now, I would love to delve into the tiniest of details about the mind-boggling performance that is Derren Brown's tour Infamous. But I can't.
You see, along with ticket-holders, reviewers are strictly forbidden to blab too much about the show by the illusionist himself. But what I can say is this: go, as it will truly be an experience you will never forget.
It would be fair to say that I went along to the performance as somewhat of a sceptic. Anything from mind-reading to mediumship, I have openly struggled with for years.
But by the end, I was up on my feet with the rest of the crowds giving Brown the standing ovation that he truly deserved. This is a man who has never claimed to be psychic, and yet you are left completely and utterly perplexed as to how he manages to reach faultless conclusions and perform the most mesmerising of tricks.
For such a huge auditorium, it would be easy for concentration to be lost. And yet the personal tone that Brown manages to create means that you hang on to every single word that is said and every single movement that is made.
Rather than just progress from one act to the next, the hypnotist brings in elements of his life, shares his experiences of "coming out", and tells how his time as a school geek ultimately made him the success story he is today.
By allowing you to get to know him as a person, Brown creates the most incredibly intimate atmosphere, where you almost forget about the thousands of people around you.
Without giving anything away, one major factor that makes this show as gripping as it is is the audience participation. As a spectator you will have the opportunity to partake in a number of activities, and experience for yourself the wonders of Britain's manipulator of magic.
I myself, along with my guest for the evening, sat on the stage, witnessing Brown up close and personal. It gives an already enjoyable evening another dimension, and I would truly urge anybody, shy or confident, to give it a go themselves.
Fast-paced, packed with content, and boasting the most spectacular of finales, this is a performance that is worth every single penny. The only critique you can make is that it has to come to an end.
Derren Brown: Infamous runs at the Lowry until 21 June.