In case you haven't heard of Derren Brown, his show revolve around his ability to control the minds of volunteers (and of course the audience) and co-erce them unknowingly to make choices or say or do or reveal things that could be mistaken for mind-reading, psychic abilities, and magic. His Russian Roulette show involved selecting a handful of volunteers from 100's of hopefuls through a series of his usual 'tricks' manipulating the group and individuals until he found 6 people he was confident he could work out which chamber of the gun they had placed the bullet in. Once he settled on an acomplice he asked the unfortunate volunteer to place a live round into a revolver and concentrate on the number labelling the chamber before handing it to him... then he sat at the table and picked the gun up and fired at his temple twice (luckily the first two chambers were empty), after a bit of erring (with Derren Brown its hard to say if he is just building tension or genuinely struggling sometimes), he.. well actually its best to get hold of the DVD, needless to say he plays russian roulette (live on Channel 4) and he is still touring.
Sam got us the tickets for chrimbo and I have half been looking forward and half been worried - his kind of work relies entirely on audience participation - it was worth the wait. His show was better live, than on the small screen and he could probably make a good living doing stand up comedy.
The show started well and we enjoyed it until a soft frisby of volunteering landed at my wifes feet. Oh dear!
It being pink, she couldn't pass it to me and there wasn't any other audience members with the right chromosones nearby she could pretend that it was closer to.
Giving me a dirty look, she headed off to the stage. Sam has always been cynical of his stuff and reckoned that the Russian Roulette thing had to be fixed somehow, and concentrated almost as much on not giving anything away as she did on pretending an audience of several hundred wasn't watching. We were both impressed when after correctly 'guessing' two letters in her friends surname, he said it was 'Larkin'.
The show got better as he attempted more complex tricks and feats, the second half was spooky and I won't mention anything but the encore, some unlucky volunteer picked a number, after a couple of incorrect attempts Derren was looking as if he could be beaten, before showing off in no less than 12 ways how he had actually known, even if you think he is using some kind of sleight of hand or other cheat you have to admire how he makes a show of it, if everything was effortless it would be a short show and you would feel as if you had been had, he definately works for the money (even if its more on the throw-away standup and quips than on any mind-reading).
On a side note, I am writing this on the train to work.. I missed my usual train and had to catch a virgin to taunton, and now I have just been through Bristol (you can see my old Sift office from the train) and Bath (a nice place to shop, but very expensive to live there). This First Great Western is a bit basic and not as shiny as the Virgin but at least I have a table seat and can do some work, the virgin train was overcrowded and every seat was reserved for part of my journey. The newer virgin train had power sockets and headphone sockets but I didn't have room for a laptop in the airline seats and got kicked out of a seat twice, ending up sitting in a corridor.