Television magician and mind control expert Derren Brown is preparing to return to the West End after a two year absence. Derren Brown Mind Reader: An Evening of Wonders arrives at London’s Garrick Theatre in May following a sell-out regional tour.

Derren Brown’s unique style of performance, which combines psychological illusion, perceptual manipulation and persuasive technique, has made him a star of both stage and screen. In 2006 his stage show Something Wicked This Way Comes (See News, 13 Apr 2005), won an Olivier Award in the Best Entertainment category. On screen Brown has provoked much debate and controversy with his mind bending television specials. On October 5 2003 Brown made world television history and triggered an international outcry when he played Russian Roulette live on Channel 4. The programme was watched by 3.3 million people in the UK.

Brown’s new show, directed by Andy Nyman, plays at the Garrick Theatre from May 2 until June 7 for a strictly limited season of 32 performances. “For this show I wanted to return to more traditional roots of magic entertainment, and in particular the mind-readers of the 1930s,” says Brown, “but like my other live shows, it's full of surprises, and hopefully both entertaining and thought-provoking.”

Brown began his career performing in cafes and bars but soon found his big break when he was offered his own television show, Mind Control, in 1999. Brown insists that there is no real magic used in his performances, claiming a subtle combination of prediction, misdirection and applied psychology can explain his apparent abilities.

The Garrick Theatre is currently home to Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular which ends its run next month ahead of the anticipated arrival of Peter Pan El Musical, a musical version of the much loved children’s fairy story, sung and spoken entirely in Spanish with English subtitles.

- by Kate Jackson