The main theme of Derren Brown’s touring show, Miracle, currently being performed at The Liverpool Empire Theatre, debunks the notion that the healing powers of Evangelical zealots exist and instead determines that we as individuals are the masters of our own destiny. Given that Brown’s previous shows have undermined the credibility of psychics in a similar vein, what’s left is a deeply intriguing and thought provoking piece of theatre to rival any other.
Sounds heavy stuff, eh? Really, it isn’t. What it is a richly entertaining and downright astonishing night of old style vaudevillian showbiz performed by a master of suggestion, distraction and blarney that will have you enthralled from first to last.
Don’t take your eyes off him or, indeed, his stage set for fear of missing something crucial in what transpires, particularly in the first half of the show, although for fear of the “Spoilers Monster” paying a visit in the night, there will be absolute no details as to what happens written here … other for the fact that on many occasion, you will be asking “How?” and “What?” and “Why?” more frequently than any over inquisitive three year old.
The second half gnaws on the marrow of the Evangelical Healing theme and is slightly darker. Yet, with this said, what Derren Brown manages to instil in everything he does is the magic of the Circus Ring Master, with sleeves safely rolled away and everything he has clearly on display … if you are willing to look hard enough. You won’t be, of course, because – deep down – you don’t want to know how he does what he does, you just want to scratch your head and feel your jaw drop.
Rest assured, this will happen and you’ll feel all the better for it as a result.
In 1991, an upcoming band called Genesis released a song called Jesus, He Knows Me which covered the vagaries of Evangelical telepreachers in America; ostensibly how their “healing powers” rip off susceptible, vulnerable people “In the name of the Almighty”. Derren Brown doesn’t really show how these frauds get away with it – unlike he did with his Psychic Outing Fest – but what you are left with is a deeply satisfying sense of fulfilment, having been royally entertained by one of the true masters of his art.
Derren Brown: Miracle
Liverpool Empire Theatre
June 15 – June 20
Running Time: 2 hours 20 mins
PR Rating: ****