All In The Mind
Mind manipulator Derren Brown brings his acclaimed live stage show to the region next week. He appears at Portsmouthís Guildhall on Wednesday and will perform his masterful psychological tricks at Salisbury City Hall on Thursday.
The controversial illusionist appears to be able to read peopleís minds, but what he really does is cleverly guide his subjects to think specific things without them knowing. The performer originally aimed to pursue a career in law due to his incredible ability to spot loopholes in peopleís arguments. When he realised he could make a living from this insightful talent alone, he abandoned law and began performing.
His ability to seemingly control an individualís mind has astounded TV viewers over the last few years. His Channel 4 series ĎDerren Brown: Mind Controlí was a ratings hit, and led to further TV shows including ĎDerren Brown Plays Russian Rouletteí and ĎThe Sťanceí.
A magician by trade, Derren Brown really knows how to perform his original tricks and is always guaranteed to generate a reaction. His engrossing show is certain to hypnotise audiences in Portsmouth and Salisbury next week.
Q & A : Derren Brown performs two shows at the end of the month at the City Hall in Salisbury and Portsmouthís Guildhall. Whatís On put him under the spotlight with our two minute, quick-fire Q and A!
What are you reading at the moment?
Iím just finishing ĎWho Wrote The New Testamentí by Robert Macks, and am constantly wading through a lot of obscure and delightful esoteria concerning the peripheries of magic, mentalism and psychology.
In the bathroom, I have just finished a terrific self-published book by Douglas Pledger called ĎBreaking Heartsí which documents his real-life hounding of a chat-room user through fictional identities.
What was the last film you saw?
I think it might have been ĎTeam Americaí. Really enjoyed it. Um, think the Ingmar Bergman triple-bill was sold out that night.
What kind of DVD or video do you choose for a night in?
When I moved into my new place, I had a home cinema put in. Itís a far, far superior, and much less expensive alternative to a plasma screen. No comparison. Iíll very often watch a DVD on it if I have an evening free. Iím a big Woody Allen fan.
I love any decent movie and really like some of the Asian horror exports. Although recently Iíve just been going through the recent seasons of ĎCurb Your Enthusiasmí. I very rarely watch TV, so I love watching great TV comedy in this way.
What sort of music is on your stereo?
Bach, constantly. And generally the solo keyboard pieces. Failing that, maybe Richard Strauss songs Ė Iím a huge fan.
What gadget canít you live without?
Probably my Ipaq, which is a pocket computer/diary thing. Iím immensely forgetful and disorganised, so the diary function is superlatively important.
Whatís your favourite food?
A good French meal at a decent restaurant. They clearly have the prize for best cuisine all tied up. Iím a little fussy, and I donít think thereís one food which particularly excites me more than any other, but there was a restaurant in Bristol (since closed) which served a lobster lasagne to die for.
Whatís your tipple?
Single malts. Little to no peat, smooth, a tad sweet and just warm. I also love desert wines and am pleased theyíre making a comeback. A light and flowery Muscat makes me very happy.
Clothes Ė are you Compo or catwalk?
If I go out anywhere fancy, I like to wear a decent suit. But Iíve never wanted to think about what I wear from day to day at least not since university when that stuff seemed to matter.
So now I have a series of almost identical corduroy suits and I just cycle through those. May I also recommend my system of throwing out all of your socks, and then going out and buying 20 identical black pairs. Makes life so much easier.
Throw them all in the drawer after washing and never worry about looking for pairs.
What car have you got?
I donít drive. But of course I like to think Iíd have a Bentley or an Aston Martin if I could.
Are you into computers?
I love my computer, love the Internet and spend too much of the day on it. Never got into games, though.
Have you got a mobile?
Certainly. Again, a recommendation: have a picture of a monkey as your wallpaper. Pretend to take a picture of someone with the phone when in company, and then act as if youíve just taken the best and most flattering picture of your life.
Show everyone else the monkey, but donít let your subject see, until he or she grabs the phone, desperate to see the great picture. Then laugh and laugh and laugh at their expense.
What TV programmes do you watch?
I rarely watch it, but I do tend to miss things that I then hear about and really wish Iíd watched.
Iím a big fan of some of the terrific comedy thatís about, and think that TV seems to be the natural home of such great writing. Few movies are as funny.
However, I only get terrestrial channels and donít ever check listings, so most of my TV watching consists of buying DVD compilations of great things Iíve heard about.
What newspapers or magazines do you read regularly?
None, Iím afraid. Iíve tried buying newspapers regularly but always forget to read them; and as for specialist magazines, it seems wrong to subscribe to something which will only feed back your own opinions to you every month or so.
So when I fire up Internet Explorer, the Guardian home page keeps me informed of any major disasters before I go to eBay; and Iíll buy a paper if there seems to be an interesting or important story worth reading.
Like this article, for example. Iíd probably buy several copies!
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