Posted in Derren's Posts

Posted by Derren Brown March 23, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Some brief time off from the tour. We all hugged and wished each other excellent weekends, and then disappeared into our other lives for a few days to do laundry, lie in and snuggle with other halves. Friday morning I pottered about the place, noting with amusement the legacy of six weeks or however long on the road: I walked into a couple of things in my cluttered home, having forgotten they were there, and when talking to a friend about going to the theatre that night, kept calling it a ‘hotel’ (on tour one is for ever going from one to another, referring to one or the other; sometimes verbally confusing the two, in a way that sounds very daft when there are no hotels around of which to speak). Around lunchtime I was picked up for filming: I was part of a Kevin Bishop sketch where he was playing his character Darren Brown, my resentful and less successful twin brother. There’s a clip of the character in a different sketch here. I arrived at a delightful residential house that had been lent to Kevin’s crew as a set for the day, and after a few wides, mid-shots and close-ups, we had the sketch done and dusted. As a curious piece of trivia, you might like to note when you watch the sketch, that the house we were in belonged to a Christian family, and the bookshelves (although they probably won’t be caught on screen) were stock full of religious titles (such as Knowing God, which I imagined would be thicker), and there’s a Christian magazine on the table in front of us. None of that plays any role in the sketch, and neither was the magazine placed there by any of us, but if it amuses you to know that these two characters are sitting surrounded so densely by such things, then there we go. The sketch was very well written by, I believe, Nico Tatarowicz, so thank you Nico, and I hope I came some way to doing my part justice. It’s for the huge C4 comedy gala night, which is a live event at the 02 on March 30th, and which airs on TV on the evening of April 5th. So, as one twitterer pointed out, it’s a filmed piece for a live event which will be filmed: I hope that’s clear.

Friday evening I went to the always brilliant Menier Chocolate Factory to watch and hear Hannah Waddingham – multi-award winning musical star, outstanding singer, actress and I imagine all-round Gay Man’s Best Friend – melt and excite us with her excellent, excellent work. She possesses an incredible range: able to sing Nina Simone as Simone would, and then switch to her devastating Send In the Clowns, via Thriller and any number of madly inspired songs (including an awesome rendition of Judas’ belter Heaven On Their Minds from Jesus Christ Superstar). Her CD is coming out soon, and if you’ve missed her show-stopping performances in London (I first saw her as the Lady in the Lake in Spamalot), then this will be a great way of at least hearing her work. Her sell-out run at the Chocolate Factory is now over, but hopefully she’ll return, or repeat elsewhere.

Saturday, after a trip to the cinema, I took a group for a fantastic but too-quickly-bolted-down dinner at the River Cafe and then went on to see my co-creator Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s Ghost Stories at the nearby Lyric Hammersmith. The atmosphere in the auditorium is electric and it’s a fun, sharp show; scary and well-performed. Definitely worth seeing, particularly if you’re a horror fan. It plays until 17th April at that theatre but I can only imagine will see plenty of life beyond that.

Sunday I started a new painting: a new 5′ x 5′ Judi Dench, and part of a new, ‘straight portrait’ route I’m taking. Sadly I won’t get to finish it for a month or so until I’m back in town. In the early evening we headed off to the Olivier Awards for a genuinely fun night. Jodie Prenger as Nancy (from Oliver!) and Hannah Waddingham (twice in one weekend!) outshone, In My Humble Opinion, some great performers taking the stage that night to sing in-between the handing out of awards. The Mountaintop and Spring Awakening triumphed, and personal highlights were talking to Mark Rylance and his wife Claire (Mark won richly deserved Best Actor for Jerusalem), Jez Butterworth and Ian Rickson (writer and director of the same astonishing play, now on at the Apollo), and meeting Tim Whitnall and the truly lovely Bob Golding, whose hugely acclaimed Morecambe rightly won Best Entertainment. I’m desperately hoping to catch it on tour – details are here.

Monday I painted until the last minute and then nearly missed my train to Leicester, for last night’s first performance at the De Montfort Hall. I was, as tends to happen after a few days off, a little scatty and not quite as on form as I would have liked, but it was nonetheless a fun night. My voice was a little croaky and I found myself reaching for the water more often than normal. It’ll take a night or two to warm the old voice back up again. I had a drink afterwards with a friend who is an art teacher at a local school, and whose pupils seemed to be constituting most of the volunteers on stage. I’m now sat in a very pleasant, empty hotel lounge, feet up; bemused that I have more time to relax when on tour, than I do in the breaks. But I must get on with m’book editing, which is happening piecemeal in lounges like this across the country.

Right, onwards and upwards.


March 23, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Blimey, talk about no rest for the wicked! You certainly do pack in a lot on your time off, Derren. All sounds very good though. 🙂
Am very much looking forward to watching this Kevin Bishop sketch on April 5th. Sounds fun!

And was so sorry you & Andy didn’t win the Olivier award. I sat through most of it online, and yes indeed, there were some great ‘in-between awards’ performances but I was so wishing that Enigma would win its category. You work so hard & put so much into each show, but sadly it wasn’t to be. But as a fan of the late. great Eric Morecambe, I can more than live with who won….. 😀

Good luck with the upcoming tour dates, your book, your painting, everything really.
And as always, take care

LC x

March 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm
Ken says:

Sounds like a nice weekend. As part of my stalking training I may have to copy it to increase my target empathy.

Was Enigma not up for an Olly this year?

Its a joke about the stalking

March 23, 2010 at 1:01 pm
Surzy says:

It sounds like you had a rather busy weekend.
I have to agree on Ghost Stories – absolutely fabulous. I was unable to obtain a ticket this weekend as it was completely sold out (Well doen andy and jeremy!) so I went to see the ‘not quite as, but still very’ fantastic “Woman in Black” at the Fortune.

I know exactly what you mean about the croacky voice after a few days off – I’m a trainer and after a long weekend – it takes a good few hours to warm back up again, then a few days to really start to get back into the swing on things…. but believe me – no-one else ever notices. You tend to put more pressure on yourself than anyone else would – Take heart that the audience would still have enjoyed it all the same.

sarah x

March 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm
Ian says:

Me and the other half will be there at De Montfort Hall tonight. We’re very much looking forward to it and hope to be able to say hello at the stage door afterwards.

March 23, 2010 at 1:23 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Enjoyed reading this, tata…

but i woke up half way through with keyboard stuck to my face, going: “what?!, more activities?”…You sure your agenda is Big-enough?

Anyways, Enjoy! and onwards and upwards ittty-iz

March 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm
Cory R says:

I’m working my way through “Tricks of the Mind” and loving it so far. My favorite new phrase from the book: incontinent with rage. It would make a great theme for one of your portraits I think.

Your books and tv programs are way too hard to find in the US (I won’t even mention your live shows). I’m hoping somebody airs some of your more recent work. I’d hate to resort to bittorrent or a illicit proxy to watch your stuff. Don’t want to steal from you.

March 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm
LairyT says:

I was at the De Montfort Hall last night for the performance and was amazed as always. Show was fantastic as it was in 2009 and my brother thoroughly enjoyed himself, as I knew he would.
Derren, you were kind enough to sign some items for us after the show and you even posed for photos when you said you wouldn’t have time to. All in all it was a fab night and I wish you all the best for the rest of the tour. I look forward to seeing you again in June.
LairyT xx

March 23, 2010 at 2:27 pm
spiderabc1 says:

Christian magazine? How wonderful, and no doubt way too thin like the book. Tempted to order the silver A necklace but my name would be down for an Athesist subscription magazine for sure. Great news about everything so get cracking and llook forward to more purchasing. Enjoy!

March 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm
spiderabc1 says:

Christian magazine?

March 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Imagin[ace]tion says:

Sounds like a life full of entertainment and excellence. Keep up the good work and efforts in entertaining and bemusing us all.

March 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm
Justin says:

hey Derren,
drove from London to see you in Bristol last thursday and would have honestly have travelled twice as far and paid three times as much. Had been so excited for months and Enigma is one of the most entertaining things I’ve ever seen, best of all the shows you’ve done. So well thought out, very clever and wonderfully directed. Thank you so so much for a great night to the whole Enigma team.

Can’t wait for the new book


March 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm
Emily, says:

Absolutely loved the first sketch of darren brown. Can’t wait for the next sketch that will involve you and the fantastic kevin bishop! Sounds all tickety boo – so sad I never saw your live show, but will definetely come next year!
You guys are always amazing: everyone, even the random stage hands and everyone who has ever been included in your shows- there are always legend on tv, and I bet they’re even better live.
Still waiting for the day when I meet you and give you a hug.
emily 14 😀

March 23, 2010 at 5:34 pm
Yogzotot says:

Didn’t realise you are in Leicester at the moment – saw the show last year in Nottingham already, brilliant. I wonder if you stay at the hotel just down our road… 😉

March 23, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Rhian says:

A delightful read as ever! Thanks for sharing x.

March 23, 2010 at 8:01 pm
Stephen says:

“A book quite unlike any of my previous books” you said to me in the Bristol stage door queue the other night. I really do look forward to reading it come the Autumn.

March 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm
StickyBug says:

You certainly are a busy chap Derren. Can I just say, you really do give out praise to where praise is due. You seem to me to be a very humble sort of guy, that’s guy, not gay! But then you probably are a humble sort of gay too. I’ll shut up now. Anyway, you yourself are praised to the rafters by others, but you still have room to hand out praise yourself. Nice one.
All the best
Sue xXx

March 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm
Jools says:

Still can’t get over the “don’t worry i’ll never flick a bean off” on the TV show, how many did NOT even get that reference lol. Fabtastic show and a very, very talented geezer is this Derren Brown from my own Bristol as well.

March 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm
darren says:

i couldn’t read this because i forgot to wear my glasses xD

March 23, 2010 at 10:47 pm
Cathy says:


March 23, 2010 at 11:14 pm
Tom Lester says:

Just seen Derren in Leicester. Unbelievable – just when you think the evening’s finished, the ending is simply outstanding and impossible. He is a GOD

March 23, 2010 at 11:19 pm
Wendy says:

I was there Monday night in Leicester, had a great night! My only problem was the audio loop system didn’t work with my hearing aids very wel and I missed some of your witty remarks lol!

March 24, 2010 at 12:24 am
callam says:

thanks for the excellent show at leicester (23rd march ) its the best thing i have seen in ages, the tricks and everything is just amazing, beats watching you on tv 😛

March 24, 2010 at 2:36 am
Hikky says:

WOW!!!! ever heard of taking a breather Derren…lol….your days off sounds like work time…lol..glad you had time to your own thing though during your time off….and now back on the road..have fun with the rest of the tour… and remember to breathe…lol…

take care

March 24, 2010 at 2:41 am
Barry May says:

My Uncle makes a living from doing Tarot Card readings. Erm… ???

March 24, 2010 at 8:13 am
Peter Grundy says:

I went to the show in De Montfort Hall and thought it was incredible. I came up on stage near the end and met Derren, the show for me was really good and I did’nt even think he was a little off form. Great night.

March 24, 2010 at 10:59 am
Gemma says:

I saw you last night performing at De Montfort Hall Leicester, the show was amazing!

March 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm
Jess xxx says:

Just got back from Leicester after seeing DB live for the first time last night. Was actually a little worried it might not live up to the hype, but WOW! The show just got better and better as it went along! I now know why everyone has been talking about the ending ( 😮 is all I can say,) it was also really funny, and my dad got called up on stage (Priceless 😀 ) I actually caught a frisbee aswell! Acted like an over excited twat in front of everyone, then realised I was supposed to throw it to someone else 😳 Couldn’t get my programme signed after, as we had a taxi waiting ( 🙁 ) but still a really good night! My family all want to see the next tour.

Luv Jess
aka David’s daughter

March 24, 2010 at 4:04 pm
Sahara says:

“a little scatty and not quite as on form” – Stop being so critical!!

I was at Monday’s performance at De Montfort Hall. I was blown away by your performance. My friends and myself struggled to sleep that night churning over all that we had witnessed! It is clear that you put an incredible amount of thought and passion into your work and it’s very inspiring.

March 24, 2010 at 4:21 pm
Claudia says:

You were amazing, not slack just….Wow <3

March 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm
Emma says:

Saw your tour when in was in Bristol and it was AMAZING!!! Good to hear that you’ve been taking a well devserved break, but from the sound of it you didnt have much of a chance to relax!! Good luck with the rest of the tour.

March 24, 2010 at 10:29 pm
Janine says:

such control,such intelligence,such sex appeal,such a sexy beard .All i can say is wow!

March 25, 2010 at 12:05 am
Janine says:

You just want to make me smile all day long !
….I would just like to say thankyou!!

March 25, 2010 at 12:24 am
Lucy Adamson says:

I am surprised that you would expect the book ‘Knowing God’ to be thicker Derren…I would have thought, in your opinion, that it would be extremely thin…or nothing at all!! Is there nothing to ‘know’ ??! 🙂

March 25, 2010 at 12:27 am
Lucy Adamson says:

Oh, and see you in May in Liverpool! Looking forward to it…

April 5, 2010 at 11:44 pm
ellie says:

Just saw the sketch on channel 4, great fun and for a good cause 🙂 someone must have had fun wrapping that guitar. xx

April 6, 2010 at 10:35 pm
Sarah Howe says:

The old friend who is an art teacher at a local school would like to thank Derren & Coops for a lovely evening. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. The students were buzzing the next day & you were the talk of the corridors Derren! I gave Coops Mark’s email, his interest in you led him to chose psychology he told me, so he was thrilled to be involved with the show. Take care & I look forward to our next rendezvous. Look after Coops for me. Thanks again, Sarah xx