The Gathering

20th May 2005  

I must admit I have been slightly careless with keeping the site up to date recently due to a number of factors, the largest being time, or rather the distinct lack of it. Do I promise to curve this foolish behaviour and mend my reckless ways? No, no I don’t, for, you see, behind this nerdy exterior is someone who appears to lead a relatively normal life. Yes, normal life in the outside world. Gasp.

The Gathering was filmed in a mystery location in front of an invited audience which included magicians, psychologists, cab drivers, celebrities, psychics, NLP practitioners and some students, and was a fusion of some of the things Derren used on his first national tour as well as some slightly adaped things for the television audience.

When I first heard Derren was going to make The Gathering I had a few reservations; the main one being was it too risky? It’s fine producing a TV series in the knowledge that there can be an editing suit behind you, but when filming a live show one can imagine you are slightly more exposed. My other slight concern was Derren’s motives for producing the programme – was he just making another programme for the general public, or was his ulterior motive to somewhat silence the magic fraternity?

Well, I can say that Derren surpassed all my expectations and performed all the classics with his natural and usual charm, charisma and flair. I feel The Gathering is my favourite thus far out of all of Derren’s television work, however this probably due to my love for the theatre as opposed to television, which currently seems to be a fading, distant memory, so I probably have a biased tendency to say that!

Derren’s current programmes have allowed a greater scope for humour to be introduced and it is refreshing to see that humour and mentalism can be mixed successfully. OK, so they may be the same one-liners, but Derren still pulls them off. For this I’m sure much credit must rest with Andy Nyman, who I greatly respect in his own right. Both he and Derren are very clever and the material they produce can only be described as remarkable. It’s possible to see the ‘Nymanisms’ in Derren’s work and material and sometimes I wonder what we would be viewing if Andy was Objective’s head-line performer…

Derren certainly seems to enjoy performing in front of a live audience; scurrying around like conquesting ants following the good ol’ pheromone trail. Maybe he was a little too enthusiastic, but this would be the only negative associated with his performance – it’s hardly going to knock huge points from his score though!

Did you think I was going to talk about the effects Derren performed? Sorry, this isn’t the time or the place. However, one thing I will include in this somewhat strange review is the ‘subliminal’ use of the word FORGET which was flashed upon the screen about five times during the airing of the programme and once during the trailer. Never has so much fuss been made about something so little! It just goes to show what a little viewer involvement can do. Powerful stuff!

Congratulations to Derren and his team: you really did pull this one off.

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