Being from Belfast, it’s not often one of your favourite performers stops by for a show. It’s even more rare that it falls on the night of your birthday. For my Brother, Craig, though, this was exactly what happened. Illusionist and all round eccentric, Derren Brown, was in town with his Enigma tour, and Craig, being a huge fan, simply had to attend. But who would get to accompany him?

Well, plainly put: I would! That’s right, despite any initial grumblings I had about ticket prices and the general disadvantage of not being as into him as Craig, I did nonetheless think it had the potential to be uniquely entertaining.

The build up began in late afternoon, as Craig and I wandered central Belfast looking for things he could spend his gift money on, while at the same time keeping a watchful eye. Derren Brown, after all, is known to lurk in obscure city centre hang out spots such as bookshops prior to his evening shows. However with no confirmed sightings, we made our way to the Waterfront Hall.

Without divulging the secrets of the show, there was a lot to be impressed by, even for a sceptic. Seeing the full array of his abilities in a live audience is completely different to watching them on TV. For this guy isn’t some cheesy, transparent magician. Rather he’s a mentalist. And a very good one at that.

“How did he do that?” moments were commonplace while the overall show (besides him falling down a flight of stairs) was extremely slick. His submersion into the many areas of cognitive psychology I found particularly fascinating.

Oh to be Derren Brown!

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