Review: Derren Brown: Showman-Newcastle Theatre Royal

Review: Derren Brown: Showman-Newcastle Theatre Royal

So how do you review a show that you are unable to talk about or share? Derren does indeed push the limits with what’s possible for us writers, as well as his own truly magnificent skill set. 

This is the third time I’ve seen Derren Brown live and he never fails to amaze me. You’ve likely seen his work on tv predicting the lottery numbers, holding a seance, playing Russian roulette on tv or leaving you stuck to your sofa in the comfort of your own home. Yes maybe you’re a sceptic, but there’s no doubting it when you are stood in the same room up close and personal. 

His live shows have won Derren two prestigious Olivier Awards – for Something Wicked This Way Comes (2006) and Svengali (2012) and he has received more Olivier nominations and wins than any other one-man show in theatre history. He has played to over 1.6 million people in sold-out houses across the country and previous shows, Infamous, (2013, 2014), Miracle (2015, 2016) and Underground (2017, 2018) have also enjoyed critically acclaimed seasons in London’s West End.

Derren has previously stated the premise of the show to be the following;

 ‘’The heart of the show is about remembering what’s important. Like how the very things that we find most isolating in life – our fears and difficulties – actually connect us. 

How apt then it seems with us all having experienced what Covid brought that the premise of the show is now more poignant than ever. They say good things come to those that wait and by god was it worth the wait. 

Derren is calm, entrancing and charismatic. He immerses participants and the audience. He also adds a good sense humour to aid conversation. 

This show has the audience in silence throughout, waiting on the very words of Brown and what will happen. You witness the seemingly impossible and when the audience do make noise or chatter it is in disbelief, bewilderment and amazement. 

Showman is two and a half hours of pure anticipation and awe. Some will be more susceptible to tricks than others and if you’re not then that’s fine, Derren knows not all will be. 

Brown is a master of his art. A showman not in the boisterous, loud conductor of a circus type but in the art of Illusion, magic and psychological manipulation. While we all know these skills are used, you cannot fathom how he manages to do so. You will leave the show with more questions than answers and will be talking about it for a long time after. 

Derren Brown: Showman plays at Newcastle Theatre Royal on Tue 13 – Sat 17 Sep 2022. Tickets are priced from £20.00 and can be purchased at or from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 0191 232 7010.

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