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Posted by Derren Brown March 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

It’s the nature of touring that you rarely get to know a city at all, even if you come back year after year. The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is a regular venue for us: about 2300 strong, it’s a good size and always sells out quickly, despite the huge Bournemouth BIC just down the road where we play later on. As familiar as I am with the brief walk from stage door to the Waterstones in the shopping mall round by John Lewis, I still have no sense of the city. However, I have an inkling of the people.

You can get a sense of a town by two factors on tour: the audience and those people who come to stage door. The sounds and energy of the audience betray the general liveliness of the place (bright, dynamic Bristol goes mental after every routine and roars with approval when the show starts; tranquil Eastbourne sits quietly or coughs), and the amount and style of Twittering in the interval says a lot about them too. Even the local level of intelligence can be broadly gauged by the jokes it laughs most at, and this too varies hugely from city to city.

Stage door is trickier, as it is only the less casual attendees who are prepared to wait around in the cold after the show. Many of these have travelled, but the locals or locally studying are easy enough to spot. Southampton, I think more than any city so far, has provided the loveliest bunch at stage door (competition is high: you’re always very lovely to meet). Only a smallish handful of 20 or so gathered, which is a nice amount of people to take ones time with, and all bubbly, polite, pleasant and relaxed. Some were hugely excited to meet me, but none had the solemn urgency of the too-strongly-fixated; programmes were signed and snapshots snapped in a particularly congenial atmosphere. I was delighted, but not surprised, to hear yesterday from a particularly likeable cabbie (who was rueing the fact that after dropping me off at my remote hotel, he would have to drive back alone through the New Forest in the thick, eldritch mists of midnight) that Southampton has just been voted most friendly city on the UK. (Not ‘in England’ as I tweeted last night, apologies). London, of course, came proudly last.

Tonight is a return night to gorgeous Bristol, and a long day for us all. We must drive to Bristol, the crew must build the show (while I have meetings), run the show, dismantle it and then drive home around midnight. This is the first time back for quite a while, and we get to have a few days off. Tomorrow I’m filming a sketch, and on Sunday night I’m off to the Olivier Awards with my lovely Andy Nyman to lose happily Tom Whitnall’s Morecambe. Back on Monday, in Andy’s home city Leicester, with the silly, upbeat energy that always comes from not having done it for a few days.

Right. Must check the local papers to make sure that the cabbie last night got home safely and was not, as I suggested when leaving the car, slaughtered, bum-raped or both. Hugs.

x

PS Yes, I know that’s a different Southampton on the map.

COMMENTS
March 18, 2010 at 11:24 am

Am glad you said we’re all lovely at the stage door, Derren! Was about to get a complex for a second then…. πŸ˜‰

Good luck with Bristol tonight and good luck with Sunday at the Olivier awards, Enigma deserves to win in my book!

Take care

LC x


March 18, 2010 at 11:34 am
Paul says:

My Great Auntie Kath has dementia now; can’t remember my name, face or telephone number. Next time I see her she’ll be dead most likely. Anyway, she used to live in my street back home in Coventry, two doors down from my best mate (Mitchell, ginger hair then, now brown) and so it figures that I’d pop in quite regularly for a natter and a panda pop. *Knock Knock* – I’d wait. *Knock Knock* – Bob Monkhouse and Wipeout the distraction (never again) – *Knock Knock* – tap the window; alas contact. >


March 18, 2010 at 11:35 am
Paul says:

> Anyway the point: whenever she would greet me, for some reason she’d call me a ‘clever little sod’. I think it was a remnant of my Key Stage One SATs results, which weren’t half bad apparently. Fast forward to last night, March 17th, The Mayflower Theater, not on Morpeth Street, not in THAT Southampton but the other one and I find myself in similar awe to that of my Great Auntie Kath to my SATS. See, Derren, I’ve typed all this rather bizarre anecdote out in order to see, ‘Derren, you clever little sod’. That was brilliant.


March 18, 2010 at 11:43 am
jojoes6969 says:

Thank you so much, I do love your blog posts. Hugs back, in a polite and well mannered way. πŸ™‚


March 18, 2010 at 11:49 am
Judith says:

Hi Derren I can’t believe how shy I was this year when meeting you I could kick myself really and now I prob won’t get the chance again :’-( . The shows in Torquay were great as they always are X


March 18, 2010 at 11:54 am
Hikky says:

Days one the loveliest blog ove ever read…going to have to take a trip to southampton and explore…lol.all the best over the weekend…and good luck for thd olivier award… Leicester should be awesome…. My friend is more than excited…tke care…
Ps…did the cabbie home alright???hope he did…lol…
Xx


March 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm
rogibson says:

Perhaps you should utilise Google Street View to familiarise yourself with the cities from your hotel room? P.S I’m interested to hear what you make of Blackpool (athough I’m from down the road in Preston) Perhaps if it’s not to your liking you could come to the Guild Hall here next year?


March 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm
Jess xxx says:

Don’t talk about Leicester…With five days left, I may just knock myself out with excitment. πŸ˜€ Still debating whether or not to go round to the stage door afterwards. Will have to check where it IS first (Did that when I went to see Wicked in London. Me and my sister wanted to get our programmes signed, but couldn’t find the stage door. Saw it when we later drove past on the way home :mrgreen: )


March 18, 2010 at 12:23 pm
Sarah B says:

Hope you have a brilliant time in Bristol again – makes me wish I was still a student there! I sent you a tweet after the show on 5th March to apologise for practically headbutting you in my excitement, but I forgot my profile was hidden (have now amended this) so you wouldn’t have seen it. So please accept my humble apologies!
Much love to you and all the crew πŸ™‚
Sarah B xxx


March 18, 2010 at 12:27 pm
Diane brown says:

I enjoyed Reading that Derren! Espesh the bit at the end…shooooooocking πŸ˜‰


March 18, 2010 at 12:34 pm
Marina says:

Derren, I just wanted to thank you as personally as I can, albeit through impersonal email (!), for the most awesome (in my teenage son’s complimentary vocabulary) evening last night at the Mayflower. My friend and I both brought our 14-year-old sons and we were all so amazed I felt quite emotional to have shared this experience with my son! Harri (10) is inspired by you!
I am bringing up my 2 boys on my own and Liam (14) has diabetes, so it can be all abit of a juggle! However, last night Γ’β‚¬ΛœliftedÒ€ℒ my spirit and made me feel more hopeful and positive, even though I didnÒ€ℒt realise I was lacking in these traits! Anyway, a massive thank you. Look after yourself on what must be an exhausting tour and round of impersonal hotels! You are an amazing man, intriguing and truly a genius. Marina


March 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm
Joshua Williams says:

Derren thanks so much for the show at mayflower last night,it was truly amazing.

***SPOILER REMOVED***


March 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm
angel2407 says:

What an absolutely lovely thing to say. Thank you so much.
Although I don’t live in Southampton, I’m not that far away and came along on Monday night with my daughter and son in law. There weren’t many people waiting but we hung on until last and nearly got missed by you.
Thank you for taking time to speak to us. I asked you if you had plans to go over to Australia as my friend over there is dying to see you perform live. I’ve sent her a copy of Trick of the Mind which she loved but they can’t get any of the DVD’s.

Best of luck with the rest of the tour, I am hoping to get to another venue later on.

Once again thank you

Sue


March 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm
rogibson says:

Great post. I suppose you become attuned to this sense of regionality when you tour as much as you do. The idea of using your skills in reading people to read cities (and consequently the nation) is riveting. TV project in there somewhere!


March 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm
Sue says:

Aww thats nice to hear that you enjoyed Southampton, and good luck for the Olivier Award.

xx


March 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm
roz says:

kewl! where does the queen mary Ii live? πŸ™‚


March 18, 2010 at 1:48 pm
Dave says:

Thanks for a fantastic show last night! Gutted I missed the chance to meet you at the stage door (had to get my girlfriend home before she ‘burst’ apparantly). Safe travels and catch you next time your back in the ‘friendliest city in the UK’!


March 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm
Charlotte says:

Where is this ‘stage door’ you speak of? I knew there would have been a chance to meet you – and I lost it! I am truly gutted, I think you’re amazing! Well I will definitly be at your next tour, and defo at the stage door .. !! see you then!! xx


March 18, 2010 at 1:50 pm
George says:

I didn’t see you this year at the Mayflower, but me and some friends went a few years ago. You got my now ex-Maths teacher on stage (we weren’t aware that she was there, until you chose her) But it was definitely the best thing I’ve seen. I will never forget the daily mail number 14 nail in my head.


March 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm

I told you the night of the 16th, but again, you were AMAZING! I hope you enjoyed (or are enjoying) the sugar cubes! πŸ™‚ Thank you for all your hard work and what you do for your fans. You are such a sweetheart!


March 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm
Berber Anna says:

Charlotte: If you’re ever in doubt again, ask the friendly theatre staff! I’ve found that they’re usually quite helpful.


March 18, 2010 at 4:20 pm
Neil says:

Come On Derren, Are you planning any trips up North? You’d get a great reception in Inverness.


March 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm
Chris says:

I’ve been a fan for ages but the Mayflower last night was the first time I’ve seen you live. Great entertainment, great humour, and an overwhelming sense of warmth and camaraderie between you and us (the audience). Come back to Southampton soon. You’re a legend!


March 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Yasmin says:

What an absolutely lovely thread to read – I was talking with my friends about how little we had to wait for you to come out, and how completely charming you were to meet.

It’s a pleasure coming to see you perform, and it was even more of a pleasure to have met you.

Thank you for the picture πŸ™‚

Yasmin


March 18, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Imogen says:

Wow! I saw you on tuesday night at The Mayflower and I honestly thought you were amazing. Unfortunately I didn\’t get to meet you outside the stage door, I had to leave early as i had an exam the next day but couldn\’t miss the oppotunity to see your show. I love your work ***SPOILER REMOVED*** (I didn\’t give anything away, promise!) πŸ™‚

Keep up the good work, can’t wait till you tour again, so I can actually see you at the stage door! πŸ˜€
x


March 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm
Frieda peppercorn says:

Glad you liked your time down in these parts. I was truely amazed by your show. We had fab seats in the stalls thanks to your production company offering my dad some free tickets in part payment for a portrait he did of you in the Sunday times. To make the night even more enjoyable you chose my dad to go up on stage at the end. Couldn’t quite believe it! I so wish I had the chance to meet you but we had to rush home. Next time I will deffo be the first at the stage door! πŸ™‚ x


March 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm
Emily says:

I am SO going to Southampton at next years tour! Never met you, never seen a live show, but Oh My God how much I wish I could go and do the former. Hope you win an olivier award – can’t wait to watch enigma on tv when it finally comes out! Can’t wait for your next series of programmes to come out! When are the airing? But anyway… Next year I’ll be older… Definetely going to Southampton in 2011… You guys have worked so hard at everything and I’m so upset not to have been a part of your annual rave-tour. Next year – watch out : i’ll be the fifteen year old all of a dither and utterly overenthusiastic to meet you by the stage door. 365 days to go I guess. You wonderful people. xxxxx


March 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm
Kayla says:

Last night was amazing, really glad that I found the stage door, you are probly the nicest person that I have ever met πŸ™‚ Thank you again for signing the book and for taking a photo with me πŸ˜€ Good luck with the awards, Enigma should most certainly win! x


March 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm
ReliegiousMarie says:

Lovely read as ever…

Ooohh, poor cabbie but he probably is alright…

Hoping for good weather in the weekend …Enjoy the little break you lot xxx


March 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm
Lee says:

Fantastic show last night at the Mayflower, we really enjoyed it. One of my party came along just to use up a spare ticket and wasn’t very keen. After the show she was a total convert having thoroughly enjoyed herself. I’d heartily recommend Enigma to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to see it yet. Come back to Southampton soon Derren.


March 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm
StickyBug says:

Mr Brown, you’re fu*king fantastic!

Saw you last night at the Mayflower. Never seen you before, but will see you again! Edwin? How? The rest, how? I was ***SPOILER REMOVED***

My God, you really do know your stuff don’t cha? Thank you, thank you, for making our night so, so entertaining and “mind blowing”. Shame about the mother shouting out, but never mind. I guess she hasn’t heard of the power of suggestion?!!

Take care, keep entertaining, keep “suggesting”, remember Papa and live happy.
Lots of love Sue xx


March 18, 2010 at 6:11 pm
Sarah says:

Saw you on Tuesday.The show was excellent. So clever & your memory is amazing! Meeting you at the door finished off the evening for both myself & my daughter. Such a lovely person. Thank you for signing the envelope! Can’t wait for the next tour! X


March 18, 2010 at 6:39 pm
Jasmin says:

That is so sweet . .
So glad I was one of them lucky few . .
I think I was the most excited there with the rugby tackle hug strategy
Followed by the awe of the audience
With the “I love you” manoeuvre
The little goatee stroke rounded it off
Best night of my life, I’m going to see you again hopefully at the stage door. Both Bournemouth days πŸ˜‰
xxx


March 18, 2010 at 6:44 pm
Darren says:

Saw the Engima show for the 2nd and being able to participate with the ***SPOILER REMOVED*** at the start was a real treat! Cannot wait for the new show, as I truely love being baffled by you year after year!

The ***SPOILER REMOVED*** in the 2nd half still has me completely stumped.

Best of luck at the Oliver awards! I voted for you anyway! πŸ™‚


March 18, 2010 at 6:48 pm
XxElliexX says:

What can I say??? the show was stupendous my dear Derren πŸ˜€ ur little ***SPOILER REMOVED*** just rounded off how brilliant a showman u are! and so sweet and charming in real life πŸ˜€ met u at the stage door (17th March, Mayflower) and i was so cold and nervous i had the shakes, and after the photo u were all “aww u have the shakies” which was funny as πŸ˜› continue being brilliant and good luck at the Oliviers!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ xxx


March 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm
Dionysios Goulimis says:

Thanks for a fantastic show last night!
Derren thanks so much for the show at mayflower ,it was truly amazing.!!
i will be there next year!!until then god bless you!


March 18, 2010 at 8:14 pm
Suzanne says:

Derren, thanks for what you say about Bristol. It is gorgeous. I was born and bred there but now live near “GORGEous” Cheddar! My friends and I came to see your show in Bristol on 6th March and were bowled over by your show. You truly are a genius and fantastic showman. Just wish I could have got tickets to see another show! Keep up the good work and hope you’re on TV again soon and good luck with the Olivier Awards.x


March 18, 2010 at 8:32 pm
ellie says:

Aww, I am so glad you like us here in Southampton. It means a lot that you are happy to meet us and sign things, even though you must be tired by that point πŸ™‚ so many performers get straight in a car after a show and disappear in to the night; it makes such a difference when you get to have a little chat and say in person how much you have enjoyed yourself. Thanks Derren! xx


March 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm
jenny boo says:

‘ALL YOUR MINDS ARE BELONG TO US?’ SURELY POOR GRAMMAR? OR AN EXPERIMENT IN NLP, MWAH-HA HA?

Msg from Abeo: It’s based on this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_your_base_are_belong_to_us


March 19, 2010 at 12:26 am
Stephen says:

Thanks so much for being lovely and patient with your large photos and autograph queue outside of the Bristol Hippodrome stage door tonight! It was lovely to meet you, even that briefly, and also to now have signed and dedicated books, too! I look forward to reading the highlights of the rest of the tour on your blog and twitter feed πŸ™‚

Stephen


March 19, 2010 at 9:40 am
Charlotte says:

Such a lovely post, I feel proud to have seen you in Southampton (even though I am not actually from Southampton, so not sure if I can be included in the friendliest people, but you have yet to visit the Isle of Wight, so who knows).
But I am greatly disappointed I couldn’t stay around to meet you afterwards, that would have made my year, if not my life! But unfortunately I had to take an equally dodgy taxi ride followed by running to make my boat home.
If it wasn’t for leaving my car parked over night, in one of our dodgiest towns on the island, I happily would’ve stood around all night!
Despite all that the show was fantastic! I still can’t stop thinking it over in my head, and I went to Tuesday’s one.
You just completely astound me Derren πŸ™‚


March 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm
StickyBug says:

Oh dear. I am so, so sorry for what I wrote yesterday about Tuesdays show. You must be extremely cross with me because I didn’t get a picture of you added in.
I was SO excited about it all, and completely let slip some *Spoilers*. I truely am sorry.
You seem such a genuine nice chap. A real entertainer. You just seem to keep getting better. Be careful you don’t explode with being so full of talent!
Like Charlotte has said, you have yet to visit us over here on the Isle of Wight. We aren’t that bad over here. Honest.
Thank you. Sorry again.
Sue xXx


March 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Yvonne says:

Saw you on Monday at The Mayflower. Stunning show and jaw-dropping performance! A fabulous evening! Came straight home and booked tickets for the BIC at Bournemouth in May as I know my 12 year old son will love every minute of Enigma! Looking forward to sharing the Derren Brown experience with him!


March 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm
karen rix says:

When are you coming to EXETER?????????????????????????????????????????????????


March 19, 2010 at 4:52 pm
Steve W. says:

I like reading these little bits. Too bad I live in America and have no way of seeing a show. Also, hearing how friendly you are after the show makes me somewhat dislike my favorite musician! Either way, still a joy


March 19, 2010 at 6:07 pm
Jess xxx says:

Can I ask a question?

Is Andy Nyman usually at the shows? Wanted to know because I’d like it if he signed my programme too. (That is, if I can actually find the stage door for once!)


March 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm
Steven says:

Hi Derren, Steven here, i seen you at the Mayflower Monday Night(One of the last people on stage).

Just wanted to say how much i enjoyed your show, it was probably the best live show ive ever seen (hope to see more). Also meeting you after the show made the whole night that much better!!

Thanks for putting on a great show and for the signature at the end.

Take Care and hopefully see you at another show soon

Steven


March 19, 2010 at 8:51 pm
Nicky says:

Stunning show on tuesday at the Mayflower in Southampton. You have now occupied my brain Derren, I was on stage in the 2nd half ***SPOILER REMOVED*** (if I can say that…conscious of not being able to reveal anything!). Yes, my mind is now working overtime thinking about what actually happened and how exactly I fell under your spell Mr Brown! The cogs shall continue turning to the point where I’m considering swapping university readings for the books mentioned at the end of your own book…
Great show, massive respect for what you do and although the ‘magic’ is not knowing how you do it, things change after you become a participant yourself don’t they? πŸ˜‰
Continue entertaining and amazing, I hope to see you again very soon. I’m hooked!
Nicky x


March 19, 2010 at 10:51 pm
Melanie says:

Hi Derren,
Stevens girlfriend here,
just wanted to say a big thank you for such a great show in the Mayflower, never was a follower of your work, i didnt know how much work you put into it either, but that was the most entertaining show ever! i have been saying to my mates to go and see you for a good night out! And you made me so happy that you signed my boyfriends paper at the stage door! was nice to meet you, your a top bloke Derren!
Cant wait to see another show!
Good Luck and Take care
Luv mel


March 19, 2010 at 11:31 pm
Ellie says:

Brilliant show! Very clever.x


March 19, 2010 at 11:49 pm
Fabrizio says:

I found the video very impressive, I would never try Mr. Brown’s techniques even if I can understand – even if actually not fully – the mechanism that let them work so good.

I’m just going crazy finding one music I’ve heard time ago in an episode of Derren Brown Mind Control.

The music was so interesting I cannot push it away of my mind… I don’t think that this effect was the one Mr. Brown would obtain but, anyway that’s it.

Since it was only a melody (no singing voice) it is impossible to find using even iPhone applications…

My question is: Is there a place in which I could find all music (like the ones you can find on credits at the end of a movie) performed on Mr. Brown Mind Control series episodes?

Thank you so much for any help.

Best regards and keep upthe good job!


March 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Sarah says:

brilliant show at the mayflower! was amazed by everything that went on!!
i hope that you will be maybe be back next year with a show!

amazing talent and thanks for a fab show x


March 20, 2010 at 10:04 pm
Karan Berry says:

Fantastic show, you were amazing as ever, but I gutted not to see the very end. We live on the Isle of Wight and the last red jet leaves at 10:45pm, please could you work your magic on the ferry company next time and hypnotise them to lay on a later crossing. Now I am even more gutted that I could have met you at the stage door. Double blow. Still I left my boys watching and they recounted the end of the show to me in minute detail. Not quite the same though. By the way my boys are adults and live in London… I didn’t leave any toddlers behind.

Much love xx


March 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm
Meg says:

Wahey! I was part of the Southampton stage door posse! Went on the Tuesday night… the guy who was there cranking out the cheese jokes was a legend! What kind of cheese do you use to tempt a bear out of a cave with? haha classic
Fab show, and got to go on stage too which was pretty swanky. Definately think the tweaks you have put in the show this time round make it work better than last year. Tough luck on the Olivier, but take care and best wishes for the rest of the tour xx


March 24, 2010 at 7:42 pm
Vicky says:

I saw your show on Monday the 15th. You were incredible! I think im still stunned and it was over a week ago! Thank you for an amazing night and i too am kicking myself about not knowing about the stage door! I will definitely be getting tickets for your next tour and hopefully i’ll be alot nearer (in the box last time)
Once again, Thank you for a very enjoyable evening, best night of 2010 and it’s going to be very hard to beat!
Vicky xxx


May 19, 2010 at 12:28 am
paul collins(the cabbie) says:

derren,my mame is paul,the cabbie who u mentioned in your blog.Fortunately i’m still alive and luckily my bum virginity is intact! Thank god for that!!It was a scary journey back to friendly southampton through the spooky and foggy forest.I reckon u used your mind games and telepathy to inform me of my inclusion in your blog.i had some customers going to joe d’aflos opposite the theatre last night and i told them that that place has had the most famous people in it as its opposite the theatre,they said oh,we wonder if derren brown went in there after his show we went to see him in.i then told them that you didn’t for sure as i took you in my taxi straight back to your hotel.The man said ‘oh! That was you,we read about that on derrens website the next day’.i thought i’d take a look. Thank.


July 17, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I saw this show and it was amazing as always I have seen all Derren’s shows and they just keep getting better and better

Roger


September 29, 2010 at 5:25 pm
Nik says:

Come back to eastbourne for 2011 Svengali tour and i promise we (well, my wife and i) won’t sit or cough quietly…..
You’re Awesome


November 23, 2010 at 11:52 am

If you get the chance you must see Derren’s show no matter what city it’s in.


July 11, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I saw Derren perform in Bournmouth at BIC and it was absolutely brilliant!!! Can’t wait to see him again.