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REVIEW: Derren Brown - Showman

Derren Brown


King’s Theatre, Glasgow March 8th 2022

Unmissable! 5/5

I have covered a lot of concerts and shows over the years, but I do not think I have come across anyone quite like Derren Brown. His charisma, humour, showmanship, and all-round talent is just above and beyond anything I have seen before.

The Croydon born mentalist and illusionist has been performing for a little over 20 years and you would think that he would have run out of ways to trick us by now, but he is back more impressive than ever. The Showman tour which Derren announces is NOT anything to do with “The Greatest Showman” just in case anyone was going to be disappointed. Although, there were a few references to P.T. Barnum and his Barnum references to kick off the night.

It is hard to put a show into words that truly sum up the show and can describe it in detail, but this is made much more difficult when you are told not to write about what tricks happened and not to go into too much detail as not to spoil it for those still to witness the show. Even if I could go into full detail, I think I would struggle to explain what I witnessed and I also think, “Did I really witness that? Or is my mind playing tricks on me?”

With COVID-19 still being a security risk to a touring show and audience members, I was slightly worried about how much interaction there would be between Derren and his audience as that has always been an integral part of any Derren Brown Show. All worry went out the window when the audience was included from the moment curtains opened.

Derren has such a natural way of making each audience member feel like he’s talking to them directly, in circumstances where you should feel uneasy and confused, he is able to put everyone in the theatre at ease. His quick wit, dry and dark sense of humour has everyone laughing along but his enigmatic talent has every eye in the building fixated on him and the stage.

This show is for absolutely everyone, couples are invited onstage, kids are involved and everyone else is included throughout the night. Derren has mastered how to involve every walk of life through his two-hour show. The research he has put in the throughout the years to hone his art – The Zancig’s primarily taking focus for some of this show is beyond impressive.

Through Derren’s social media pages, he asked people to bring in objects that were meaningful or sentimental to them, I took my necklace that I have in tribute to my Gran who passed last year. The night was made more emotional for me by her song, “Summer Wind”, playing as I headed to my seat and as I stood in the foyer at the interval.

‘Showman’ is a show that is ultimately written as a tribute to his father, with many anecdotes about him throughout the night. It also allows people to re-evaluate their intentions in life as well as how the perceive their lives, one of the popular quotes of the night being “Do not just sleepwalk through life.” I think that with everyone we have all had to face, Showman further in-stills in us just how short life can be and how we must pay attention to the important things in life and not to dwell too much on the things we can’t change.

I could go on for hours about just how incredible Derren Brown is and how fascinating he is to watch but I think you should all get yourself a ticket to this show and view it for yourselves as no review could ever do it justice.

Showman is beautifully written and performed by Derren, it is perfectly directed my Andrew O’Connor and Andy Nyman. It is visually stunning and works incredibly well with the style of a theatre like Glasgow’s King’s Theatre. One this I will say is, you will have ‘That’s Life” stuck in your head for hours afterwards.

Huge thank you to Laura for arranging my tickets and interval drink! I am very grateful!


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