THERE are very few people who can start an interview with ‘I can’t say anything that is happening in the show because I ask people who come to keep it a secret’.
However this is Derren Brown, who I find sheltering from the rain in a busy cafe – and you don’t need to be a mindreader to know I was likely to ask about the show!
But for Derren this conversation is one of many that he has come to expect on a daily basis. He explains: “When I buy anything in a shop, if I ask ‘how much is this’ and they recognise me they say ‘you should know’” – adding that ‘it’s funny the first few times!’
“Also, people often ask me for the lottery numbers. But that is just part of the job,” he reflects.
In conversation the 41 year old is incredibly easy to speak to. He may be known for his award winning 12-year TV career but the illusionist has never stopped creating stage shows.
His latest, called Svengali (meaning a person with evil intent who controls another person), is coming to Aylesbury’s Waterside Theatre later this month.
Brown used to describe himself as a ‘psychological illusionist’. Nowadays he says: “That was something from when I was supposed to come up with a title a few years ago. I don’t think it really means anything.
“One of the nice things is that as the years have gone on I have just been able to be me. I like that there is no clear label for it. There’s not many people doing what I am doing. That, creatively, feels good.”
Looking ahead to the theatre show, he says: “I love it, it’s my favourite bit of the year doing it.
“I think it is just that the TV can be a lot more stressful. Whereas the stage show, writing and rehearsing is fun. Then when you are on the road is fun. I get to tour around with my friends and I get my days free.”
He also explains that shoppers in Aylesbury town centre are likely to see him reading a book in a cafe somewhere.
“I generally sit and read at the moment, I am normally working on a book when I am on tour, but I’m not at the moment. I probably will be seen around Aylesbury, sat reading a book.”
Finally, a lesser known fact about Derren is that he used to have a Saturday job in a balloon shop – and after he finished work would walk home with a big bunch of helium balloons and give them to the first person who smiled at them. >Derren Brown is at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre May 29-June 2. For more details visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury