First Person - with Allan Crow

Allan Crow
Allan Crow
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HOW did he do that? If we asked ourselves the question once, we asked it a dozen times or more on the way home.

Watching Derren Brown on stage was just mind blowing - baffling, intriguing, stunning, mesmerising, and utterly, utterly compelling.

And I can’t tell you why!

Brown played an entire week at the Playhouse in Edinburgh and asked his audiences not to divulge anything that they saw or give away any spoilers.

Some 18,000 people saw him, but I have yet to see a single tweet or online comment which reveals anything. Not one.

Given we live 24/7 online and tweet what we had for breakfast, that is nothing short of miraculous. Is it his true finale? Did we all fall under his ‘spell’?

Did the master ’mentalist’ persuade 18,000 individuals from across central Scotland not to type a single spoiler of 140 characters?

Or, as Brown suggested in an interview, is it just old fashioned courtesy?

I really hope Brown somehow clambered into our minds and got us to do what he asked and avoid posting any info.

Now’s that what I’d call magic!

In all my years of going to live shows, I have never seen anything quite like it .

It was like being transported back to Victorian times when a famous magician would come to town and mesmerise - and even scare - people with dazzling new tricks. Women fainted in shock, and some threw up. Both have happened on Brown’s current tour.

He did warn us we may feel light headed or dizzy during the show, and, if so, we should simply look away from the stage and we’d be fine.

Yeah sure I thought until, midway through the second act, I found myself feeling incredibly light-headed and dizzy. True I’d snaffled a pack of fizzy cola bottles, but that couldn’t explain the strangest of feelings ...!

But everything about the night was structured to gently opening your mind to other possibilities - the cathedral-esque stage setting, the pace, the atmosphere, the lighting and even the pulse of the music all had a purpose.

Brown’s skills are truly breath-taking.

He takes mental agility to extraordinary levels, his illusions are out of this world.

He apparently reads your mind and can tell you anything about your life.

He delivers a masterclass in hypnotism that leaves you rubbing your eyes to check what you are really seeeing.

And then he demonstrates a level of psychic ability that leaves every other psychic staring at the floor in utter embarrassment ... only he claims to have no psychic ability. None whatsoever.

It’s an absolute tour de force which doesn’t so much open your mind as blow it to smithereens, but, all the time, without ever leaving you feeling threatened or in peril.

From start to finish I was fascinated, but never frightened. I can only assume that was deliberate.

And never once did he ask anyone to divulge any personal details , unlike other psychics whose trade off for a message from ‘the other side’ is a titbit about their life; public confirmati0n of their final, deeply private moments for a round of applause.

Brown’s contempt for them is well documented, and after watching his phenomenal debunking, I doubt I could ever sit through a psychic show ever again. I’d love to see them go head to head with him though ...!

One critic compared Brown to Merlin - it’s not hard to see why.

And I still can’t - won’t - tell you why!

Suffice to say, when ‘Infamous’ comes out on DVD you simply must buy it. What you will see on screen is exactly what unfolded before my very eyes - in some cases just feet away.

How he did it, well we’re still talking about that a week on ...