Television magician Derren Brown (pictured) will bring his new stage show to the West End for a limited two-week season this summer. From 7 June 2004, Derren Brown Live will run at the West End’s 1,400-seat Palace Theatre, recently vacated by Les Miserables after 18 years.

The London engagement follows an extensive, two-month UK-wide tour, which kicked off on 15 March 2004 and which will take in 40 different venues by the time it concludes in Belfast on 16 May.

Trained as a lawyer, Brown started his performing career in cafes and bars. His big break came in 1999 when Channel 4 asked him to put a show together for television. His hit Mind Control has since had several series.

Last autumn, Brown provoked international outcry when he staged a game of Russian roulette on live television. The one-off programme was watched by over 3.3 million people in the UK when it was aired on 5 October 2003. His new series, Derren Brown: Trick of the Mind, begins on Channel 4 on 23 April.

Brown refers to himself as a psychological illusionist rather than a magician or mind-reader. He describes what his craft – which enables him to predict, suggest and seemingly control human behaviour - as a “mixture of applied psychology, magic, misdirection and showmanship”.

Temporarily dark since the move last week of Les Miserables to the West End’s Queen’s Theatre, the Palace will play host this autumn to the world premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Woman in White. Based on Wilkie Collins’ Victorian thriller and starring Maria Friedman and Michael Crawford, the musical opens on 15 September 2004 (previews from 28 August).

- by Terri Paddock