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COMING TO THE END OF THE TOUR

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Posted by Derren Brown June 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm

It is an unfeasibly hot day in Bournemouth. I’ve brought iPad, ordinary pad-pad, and a couple of books down to a stretch of water where wealthy, sockless middle-aged men in chinos and striped T-shirts are drinking afternoon champagne and boating with their similarly-striped, dramatically over-sunglassed female equivalents. I have never been the boaty type, but as one is grabbed under the armpit and dragged screaming and spitting through the supermarket aisles of life towards middle-age, it is comforting to find such self-contained communities of the griseous enjoying themselves with such opulent, rickety abandon.

My only worthwhile boating memory is from my twenties: that of hiring a rowing boat with my friend Joe in the Lake District. ‘Hiring’ is an optimistic term: the arrangement was that we would pay for the jaunt upon our return when, I imagine, the boat-man would know how long to charge us for. We rowed in the rain and sun, swigged Talisker from the bottle like the hardened seafarers we imagined we were, and played loud upon our harmonicas; then, when we realised too late that time was too short and the jetty too far to return to, we sailed on towards the train station we needed to reach, tied up the boat now several miles from the hire point, took a self-timed photograph of us stood triumphantly by the vessel we were abandoning, and fucked off home.

It was one of the best days of my life. Promises were made to myself to row more often, to canoe regularly, and to live the life aquatic. None of this came to pass. Instead, I have framed in my office, and holding pride of place, a glorious souvenir of us in our rain hats, flanking our boat and beaming.

Bournemouth, for readers of ‘Confessions’, was also home to my occasional Christmas family holiday at the Water’s Edge Hotel. My grandfather would treat us all to a few days by the sea. I had tried to find a picture of the hotel but found that it had since been pulled down. I am indebted to one Dean Watson, who found and emailed an old picture of said hotel and in doing so awakened some happy memories.

(On the subject of thank-yous: I received a copy of ‘Twitterature’ and a letter from a chap who worked at a book factory near or in Oxford: if you are reading this or might know him, I apologise profusely for losing your/his address. Do email me through this site.)

With just two more days of touring remaining, I shall miss the delights of new towns and lazy afternoons in eagerly acquired local haunts. The upcoming Shaftesbury Theatre London run brings with it its own peculiar pleasure, but somehow with TV concerns and other intrusions, the days don’t quite remain as carefree as I intend them to. There is, though, the private love of feeling part of a largely nocturnal stratum of London life known only to a bunch of actors and performers; a feeling of inclusion in something subterranean and steeped in joy. For a month and a half, one becomes part of London Theatreland, and for a lover of said theatre, that’s rather giddying. There are the concomitant delights of having ones social calendar cleared, save for lunchtime meets with those who might find themselves free in the days for the same reason, and of having a new home in the faded glamour of a west-end dressing room, available to make hospitable and homely according to ones whim. Of finding out who from the ranks of fame or friends might be in attendance that night, of stocking up on wine and treats to offer should they ‘come round’; meeting actor friends from other shows and discussing the idiosyncrasies of our audiences from that night; and of being on first-name terms with the doormen and waiting staff of local late-night clubs and eateries that cater for the post-show social artisan.

For my little crew it will be a blessed relief not to have to install and de-rig the set for six whole weeks, and for us all it will be a pleasure to tidy, make shiny, then primp and pimp the set with any extras which have been waiting for the convenience of the break to be installed. The show is always at its best in town. After a couple of day’s grace in which I will once again feel my bedroom carpet under my feet, perhaps watch a late-night movie with my beloved, and, excitingly, start painting a portrait of our very own Mr. Coops, the show will once again go on. A few nights to get up to speed, a press night, the reviews later that week which I won’t read (but will ask my director and PR personage for a general overview and to report any concerns worth attending to), and then the pleasure and challenge of re-creating the show six nights a week for a further six weeks without letting it ever feel like I’m merely repeating it.

Svengali, despite an error in the London Metro to the contrary, runs from June 8th to July 16th. Booking details and links are on this site. If you do come I hope very much that you enjoy it at least as much as I do. Before then, I shall soak up this impossible Bournemouth sun while I can.

COMMENTS
June 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm

I look forward to seeing you in Bournemouth tomorrow Derren, this will be the 3rd show of yours that I’ve seen and I can’t wait! Until then, enjoy the sunny south coast! Much love xx


June 3, 2011 at 5:17 pm
TheJokersDaughter says:

Hey Derren,

I have something for you which I would have to send in a form of tube via mail. However, I am not sure if or how I am able to do that. If I could have some help with this query it would be much appreciated.

Enjoy your break!

JD

PS. JD is not my real name, nor is it Jade or anything close. In fact it contains no Js and D only in surname.


June 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Jenny says:

love reading your blogs and catching up on what you are up to. So jealous that you are out in the sunshine whilst i am stuck in the office! I hope you are chilling out nicely but remembering to apply the sun cream as i am guessin a lobster coloured Derren would not be one of your best looks! Enjoy the rest of your day in the sun x x


June 3, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Ella says:

Derren,
It’s lovely and sunny here in London too. It’s not breezy at all though.
It’s great that you are enjoying yourself too as well as working hard.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the portrait of Coops looks like!
We can’t wait to have you back in London. I’m going to get myself to the stage door as much as possible… (I hope you won’t mind seeing me that often!)
I’ve also almost finished the drawing I did of you – I haven’t taken a more recent picture of it, but I do have the basic version, If you’d like to have a look: http://www.twitpic.com/4zpspb
Hope you’re well,
Lots of love,
Ella

Please don’t keep coming round to the stage door unless you have seen the show that night. Derren likes to say hello properly to fans when he can, but if numbers are high then it becomes hard to do so and can cause problems. If ‘extra’ people start turning up repeatedly then the theatre will insist that he doesn’t go out to sign at all. Hope you understand – Tour Team.


June 3, 2011 at 5:21 pm
Scott Viggars says:

Don’t forget Mr Brown, you will be bringing this wonderful show north in the New Year! I have tickets for one of your Leeds dates!


June 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm
Cris says:

Yeay! Blog!! Coming to the show on the 8th. Can’t wait! Enjoy the sun! X


June 3, 2011 at 5:24 pm
Steve Cranshaw says:

Saw Svengali in Bristol on my birthday – a real treat! Then waited for the master himself to appear at the Stage Door. Of course, as ever, he didn’t disappoint, spending a good while signing autographs and posing for cherished photos. Can’t wait to see the the unsung hero of the show immortalised in oils (or acrylics?)


June 3, 2011 at 5:26 pm

All i can say is- Enjoy the rest of the tour and hope that you’ll get the same unforgettable experiences as the delightfull boat ride. ^_^
A great insight to how hard and enriching tours can be =D Hopefully be seeing you next year on tour maybe! ^_^ Hope you have a nice break!


June 3, 2011 at 5:29 pm
georgie says:

impossible, it’s always like this down here ! looking forward to tonights show πŸ™‚


June 3, 2011 at 5:30 pm
Becca says:

I wouldn’t say unfeasibly! Was trying to come see you tonight at the BIC, but too late. Went for Southampton instead, have bought ‘Tricks of the Mind’ to take me through until March. Enjoy Bournemouth!


June 3, 2011 at 5:43 pm
Bex says:

Aw that made me smile, am so glad you at least get some time to watch a late night film with your beloved πŸ™‚ whoever he may be! πŸ™‚ Xxx


June 3, 2011 at 5:51 pm
Dave says:

I’ll see ya tonight πŸ™‚


June 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Jess says:

Your show was amazing when I seen you on the 1st june!!!
You are amazing and I think I love you <3
xxx


June 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Maria from Germany says:

Hi everyone who was in Svengali, it is worth to travel from Germany to England? Maybe I have time next year.


June 3, 2011 at 6:19 pm

I always appreciate your blog posts, Derren. To take the time to write down your thoughts & feelings in such a wonderfully incisive way and then to share them with us is a sheer delight. Thank you xx

Btw, Svengali is a wonderful show. I can’t wait to see it again whenever that may be. πŸ™‚

Take care

LC x


June 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm
Helen says:

If you haven’t been go to studland. Not for the nudist beach. The church in the village has interesting gargoyles and theres a pub that brews it’s own ales.


June 3, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Darren ardeman says:

Can’t wait to see Svengali on 28 June – I am sure it will be as good aa the other 4 tours I have been to


June 3, 2011 at 7:03 pm
Chris Baines says:

Just wanted to say thanks for a great show in Bristol Derren, absolutely amazing, consequently bought the book and enjoying that! Hope the rest of the tour goes well, I’ll hopefully get a chance to see another show soon. Thanks again. Chris


June 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm
Elise says:

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I love your blogs x I love the way you write…..I should really buy your book, lol πŸ˜€ I may ask for it for my birthday actually along with more dvds, heehee. xxxxxxx Mwa!


June 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm
Jo Wilkinson says:

Hey Derren, it’s a surprise birthday present for my partner on the 9th June (Jen Wilkinson). Please can we meet you? We love your work and ethos. Kind regards, Jo Wilkinson


June 3, 2011 at 7:40 pm
roz says:

sweet little stories. very enjoyable.

(but, “griseous”? jeez louise, i hadda look that one up!)

LH&S,
roz


June 3, 2011 at 7:43 pm
Tim Stracey says:

Hi Derren
Well, thanks, thanks for influencing me to get involved in the crazy world of mentalism
Born in Croydon too! Living in Bristol, x-acting band member now sales man… Starts his journey!!
After many months/ tears… My first live show is upon me( well it’s only walk around at a gallery opening but it’s a Start!) few live shows under my belt at the magic bar in Bristol , great advice from great people at the magic cafe and here I go
So, thanks for getting me so obsessed with this art,,, I think
Anyway u don’t read these anyway
Bestest
Tim

Msg from Abeo: We all like to read the comments, including Derren who has responded to them before πŸ™‚


June 3, 2011 at 8:17 pm
Helen says:

How very dare you Derren!!!
I saw you at said hotel today (enjoying a beer, not champagne). Myself and my companion are nowhere near middle aged and not one stripe adorned us. I do concede to wearing oversized sunglasses though πŸ˜‰
Hope you enjoyed your stay!


June 3, 2011 at 8:30 pm
Jenny says:

ella: that picture is fab! Thoughts derren? X


June 3, 2011 at 10:56 pm
sarah says:

I was expecting you to announce more dates, hopefully including Blackpool. I’ll try and get tickets in London though because I have to see it!


June 4, 2011 at 12:24 am
Blue Sky says:

Love hearing about your boat trip memory. There are a multitude of lakes where I live, but I must say that I haven’t been boating that much either. One time I was on a rowing boat trip with a friend who got scared of the waves and I had to turn the boat in a way that it goes sideways against them in order to make it more steady. It was on a pretty big lake. When I was rowing there alone at one night almost at the sunset, the deep black water looked a bit terrifying to me, just like darkness can be. Who knows whats down there in the dark? Those are just moments when your mind doesn’t listen to the voice of reason. Anyway, it was also a beautiful moment, but it’s some years ago. I haven’t been on a lake ever since. Should go again. Thanks for your “update”.


June 4, 2011 at 3:02 am
Jojoe6969 says:

I believe there is a book by the same name ‘The Water’s Edge’ by author Louise Tondeur, written around a Bournemouth Hotel that has since been pulled down.


June 4, 2011 at 7:16 am
Kirsty says:

Hi Derren, Great show in Bournemouth last night! Thanks for coming down here and i hope you come back soon x x


June 4, 2011 at 7:53 am
Elaine Chandler says:

Saw Svengali in Bournemouth last night it was brilliant a very entertaining show. Also would like to thank you for taking the time to sign my book after the show very much appreciated. Elaine x


June 4, 2011 at 9:14 am
Amy T says:

well, i am glad your enjoying my towns sun πŸ˜›
i am watching you tonight, so you best have a good show! 7 rows fromt he front πŸ˜‰ that shall do πŸ™‚


June 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm
Berber Anna says:

Saw the show twice, once in Liverpool and once in Bristol. I kind of promised to come say hi again after the show in Bristol, but seeing what must have been more than 100 people waiting outside the stage door in Bristol, my friend and I figured it’d be best to forego the hi-saying πŸ˜‰ .
Everyone who’s seen the show in its early stages: If you decide to go see it a 2nd time, it certainly won’t feel like a repeat. There have been MANY changes, and the show is even better now (even if it feels slightly less ‘dark’ than it did before).


June 4, 2011 at 2:59 pm
Jenna says:

Hi Derren! I’ve only recently discovered you as I hail from the snow- covered and Derren Brown- deprived land of Canada. I stumbled on one of your videos and I was hooked! I’ve been working my way through the videos of your shows and specials on youtube (hmm which I realize might be illegal- but it’s the only way I can watch you, so forgive me πŸ˜‰ ) It’s a shame that your tour doesn’t cross the Atlantic- I’d come see you in a heartbeat! Good luck with the rest of it! I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for more blogposts- they’re very entertaining! πŸ™‚

Love from the Great White North,
Jenna


June 4, 2011 at 3:36 pm
Shobha says:

Fantastic show in Bournemouth lastnight! As always, a show full of surprises and humour! The ejaculation and donkey-fingering were hilarious! Another exceptional tour Derren – well done! Shobha


June 4, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Maria from Germany says:

Hi Derren,
do you show us the painting potrait of Mr. Coops? (with Coops OK ;-)) I´m so curious to see it.
I like to drawing pictures since a my childhood, too.


June 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm
Laurence says:

Great news, but I need to know: Is there any swearing in the show? Anything rude?


June 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm
Leanne says:

Derren, your just too cool! Loved your blog post as always, they never cease to make me smile. Thanks so much for taking the time to tell us what’s going on in your life, it makes you accessible and real – love that about you. You treat your fans amazingly, we’re very lucky!
Your an absolute inspiration to me Derren, (sorry to sound cheesy!) but i simply adore you and everything you do. I’ll be a die hard fan for life!
What you said about performing at the Shaftesbury Theatre really struck a cord with me. I’m really into Performing Arts and could only dream of working in London Theatreland one day, what you described sounded like a dream come true! I hope you have a fantastic time there, and receive all the rave reviews you so greatly deserve!
All the love in the world
Leanne xxx


June 4, 2011 at 6:20 pm
Thistooshallpass says:

You must really be looking forward to the London run Derren and being near home must be such a delight after such a long time touring around the country

On Good Friday we went into London and had a peek at Γ’β‚¬ΛœThe Shaftesbury Theatre Ò€ℒ…..it looks quite incredible. We also tried to get a good picture of Ò€œThe Devil rides inÒ€ posters, sadly, the glare from the camera ruined it every time but I must say the posters are terrific. Thanks for coming to sunny Southend….we really enjoyed Γ’β‚¬ΛœSvengaliÒ€ℒ and IÒ€ℒm sure the West End run will be a complete success for you all….break a leg Sue x


June 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm
Paul Harrison says:

Hi all. My Sky+ box very kindly deleted ‘Derren Brown – Miracles For Sale’ from the hard drive as it was getting full and something else recorded over it. I was very miffed as you can imagine.

Do you know where on the web I may be able to watch a re-run of this, as, when I looked on the Channel 4 On Demand site, it isn’t available to view.

It has totally ruined my evenings entertainment πŸ™

If you are able to help I will be forever grateful. I’m not sure when it will be repeated on TV.

Best wishes,

Paul
x

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/derren-brown-the-specials/4od – Keep checking πŸ™‚ – Phillis


June 4, 2011 at 8:27 pm
Mark says:

A whole tour over and I didn’t get to see it πŸ™


June 4, 2011 at 8:39 pm
Stewart Roberts says:

hi Derren saw you show in Bournemouth last night .. fantastic!
second time we have seen you , hastings a couple of years ago (the re arranged date) and we even spoke!
but Svengali was bloody brilliant and funny too ,i dont want to give too much away but the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX – well done derren cant wait to see you and your next show again _- – Stewart


June 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm
Berber Anna says:

Laurence: The show has a lot of audience participation, so while your mileage may vary, yes there were rude things said in the shows I went to. And I imagine that those weren’t the two exceptions to the rule. So if you object to a bit of good-humoured rudeness, then I don’t think it’s the perfect show to go and see.


June 5, 2011 at 1:56 am
spiderabc1 says:

Just thinking of Derren perform on stage shoe and sockless hippy style to feel. And wondering if he is drawing/painting all of the folk at Brown Towers (and Rasputin?) I’m looking forward to a pencil sketch on the blog : ) In the meantime, all the best to everyone involved in the tour.


June 5, 2011 at 12:31 pm
Paul Harrison says:

Thanks very much Phillis for the Channel 4 On Demand details.

I’ll keep checking

xxx


June 5, 2011 at 3:27 pm
Phi says:

Being in the USA, we’re not allowed to see some of Derrens work via the internet.
I mean we can get 20,000 hours of the Royal wedding from every channel on Earth, but the things that really matter, like Derren Brown is blocked.
Sitting on my hands.


June 5, 2011 at 5:39 pm
Bill Relyea says:

Saw the Bournemouth show cast night. Awesome! Brilliantly clever, and very funny. Cant wait to see it on TV or DVD next year. Keep up the good work.


June 5, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Ashley Duddle says:

Wearing Chinos and a stripy teeshirt I was, but my daughter and I were the sock wearing, not so wealthy, couple drinking beer and wine at the table next to you at the hotel as you were staring at the boats. Having seen most of your pro grammes and your performance at Fareham some time ago and read your book (only one – are there more?), and enjoyed them all, we both wanted to say hello but assumed you must get totally pissed off with people doing.that – perhaps next time. Good luck.with the shows.


June 5, 2011 at 8:44 pm

hey i have been wanting to see you at the BIC for 3years now and finally saw you yesterday, i think what you do is amazing, i caught a XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, really wanted to meet you after and get it signed but couldn’t as i had to leave πŸ™ the end was mindblowing i don’t know how you do it but you are one amazing guy!! hope to see you next year when ill be 16 so i will hopefully be picked to go on stage, if not too young! thankyou for an amazing performance!!!!


June 5, 2011 at 9:17 pm

would i be able to get a signed picture or something as a reminder of the show please you are such an inspiration to me!! πŸ™‚


June 5, 2011 at 9:49 pm
Nuala Brothers says:

I went to go see Svengali live at the BIC on the 3rd of June as a special birthday treat. I am very interested in mentalism (if thats what you call it) not as a job, i am just curious so seeing your show live was spectacular!
I hope to see your shows again, maybe next year i will book for the London showings. I was slightly dissapointed that i didnt see you in person but i expect you were too busy (and tired) to stop behind. Fair enough (dont blame you:L ) Good luck for the rest of your tour and thankyou for the fantastic show. It was a superb birthday:) x


June 6, 2011 at 8:08 am
Bob Hoban says:

You sir, are the finest entertainer extant. I have never enjoyed anyone more. Thank you for your talent, intelligence, and wit.


June 6, 2011 at 9:51 pm
Christine says:

I came to see the Bournemouth show on my brithday on the 4th, and wooweee! I’d been counting down the days since march and you completely exceeded my already very very high expectations! Just want to say a big BIG thank you for making it the best birthday yet, will DEFINATLY be seeing you again as soon as I can! TRUE LEGEND. Thank you, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did! xx


June 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm
Neil hayden says:

Hi derren,

Just a quick note to say I enjoyed the show at Plymouth pavilions 28th may.
You were on top form…really fun,entertaining and enlightening night.
Ps, I’m the one you said looked creepy..you try and look cool when someone is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX for ten seconds!!!! Lol
All the best, Neil Hayden


June 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm
Sharon Barton says:

Hi Derren
Just wanted to say how much we enjoyed seeing and participating in your show saturday night!! It’s fair to say I wouldn’t have chosen to come on stage (I was just too nervous!!) but so glad now that we did and experienced your amazing acts first hand. It was brilliant. We have watched your shows over the years and saw your 1st stage show in Poole, but this one beat it hands down. Please keep getting better and better, we love watching you!!
Sharon
xx


June 9, 2011 at 10:37 am
Michael says:

Had the pleasure of seeing Derren’s opening night at the West End last night! Betwixt the wonderful illusions were several penetrating revelations about members of the audience.


June 9, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Barry Snashall says:

Hi Derren, saw the show in Northampton and now expecting to be predictable and come again to see you in town. Running out of DVD’s to buy, the book collection is growing and a downloaded copy of Confessions of a conjurer gives light relief whilst driving. ItÒ€ℒs great to hear the author read their own book to you, it kind of makes it more real and amusing too.

Could do with some more audio to download when you have the time.

Wished we had waited for a photo and autograph after the show but was also mindful that, even to the seasoned performer it must be tiresome to have to smile at complete strangers all the time.

Was hoping you and the crew may have ended the night in the curry house we went to but no doubt stale sandwiches were supper back at the hotel.

Well done Derren.


June 10, 2011 at 9:57 am
Tiffany says:

Hi Derren
Just wanted to say thank you for a great show in Plymouth recently and I hope London goes well for you.
You didn’t mention on your log if you had a nice time in Plymouth and managed to get some well deserved R&R; soak up some rays on the beaches or the Hoe or just take in some nautical culture!
Look forward to seeing you again soon,
Love Tiff


June 13, 2011 at 7:22 am
Abbey says:

Svengali was amazing as always! You never fail to put on an amazing show, was lovely to meet you however briefly outside the Bristol hippodrome as well πŸ™‚ i would love to chat to you longer as I find you and what you do truly fascinating , please always bring your shows to Bristol ! I can’t wait for the next one!


June 18, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Derren, my partner and I came to SVENGALI, our second show of yours, last week. Fabulous – as was ENIGMA. We were also gripped by your recent programme about the scam of faith healing. Thank you for doing what you do – being highly entertaining but inspirational and educational too. You’d definitely be invited to my ‘fantasy dinner party’! All the best for continued success.


June 20, 2011 at 1:46 am
Gemma T says:

It was so great to see you live on Friday night πŸ™‚ I could barely contain my excitement for weeks beforehand! And thank you so much for signing my programme.

I just thought you should know that the rude man who shouted down from the grand circle had learning difficulties, as far as I could tell, so I don’t think he was trying to be genuinely hurtful!

Enjoy the rest of your tour
xxx


June 20, 2011 at 7:09 pm
Prudence says:

Hi Derren!
Cannot wait to come and see you at Shaftesbury!
Love your blogs. They’re keeping me sane amidst the hell that is revision.
You’re a bit like a more refined, less metamorphic (yet just as charming) Lady Gaga of the magic world. Spell binding. Don’t let that go to your head though!

Quick request…Tag Canterbury onto your tour next year please! We have a brand new, shiny theatre πŸ™‚ and most tours pass Kent by!

Hope the rest of Svengali goes without a hitch!
x


July 13, 2011 at 11:37 am
Alexander says:

Derren, say it ain’t so

Did you really steal and abandon a boat from some poor bloke? And are you really so chuffed with yourself that you’re happy to boast about it without any remorse?

Love your show and your work but don’t like this


July 16, 2011 at 10:34 am
Francesca says:

Hey Derren
Were you OK on Wednesday evening? You seemed in a littel distress when you were taking a bow at the end of the show?
Absolutely fab show btw. Saw it earlier this year in Woking as well as this week in London. Both shows were exhilerating.


July 17, 2011 at 3:14 pm
Claire says:

Hi Derren

What a fantastic show at the Shaftesbury Theatre yesterday. It was amazing and you are truly a very clever man. I was lucky enough to come up on stage with you.

Thanks for a brilliant evening. I will definitely be back.

Claire xx


August 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Halfway through your book, I realized I have to travel from Norway to England next year. Can´t wait.