Created, written and directed by UK stage and screen phenomenon Derren Brown and long-time collaborators Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor, Unbelievable is a new live magic show. Featuring a live band and a company of magical, multi-talented performers who bring to life, an evening of trickery that will leave you astonished.
This new show fuses the best of theatre with illusion, sleight of hand and mind reading. After decades of appearing on stage solo, this will be the first time that one of Derren’s shows will be performed by a cast rather than himself. Now playing at London’s Criterion Theatre, Derren Brown’s Unbelievable promises to mystify and entertain while the talented cast reimagines live magic.
Derren Brown directs Simon Lipkin (Elf The Musical, Nativity!, The Wind In The Willows), Samuel Creasey (The Winter’s Tale, The Book Of Dust: La Belle Sauvage) and Yolanda Ovide (The Shakespeare Republic #AllTheWebsAStage, Groan Ups, Jitney) and joining them in the cast and as musicians are Laura Andresen Guimarães (Othello, Swallows & Armenians, Just So), Izalni Batista Nascimento Junior (The Voice UK, The Crown, Pretty Red Dress), Alexander Bean (One Man Two Guvnors, Summer Holiday, Gulliver’s Travels), Hannah Price (Kinky Boots, Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Footloose).
As soon as you enter the theatre, the audience is part of the magic, as you’re asked to write your name down if you’re happy to be part of the show. As you take your seat, Yolanda Ovide roams around the audience followed by a video camera projected onto screens throughout the auditorium. She’s looking for audience members who are happy to loan their wedding rings to her for a trick later in the show. Yes, it’s magic from the start!
Soon afterwards, our musicians, made up of Hannah Price, Laura Andresen Guimarães, Izalni Batista Nascimento Junior and Alexander Bean take the stage and entertain us with a small brass band to introduce the show.
After a fun filled musical start, West End favourite Simon Lipkin takes the stage to welcome the audience and perform his first trick (with help from an unsuspecting audience member). An incredible slight of hand trick was next performed by Hannah Price using the audience members’ wedding rings from earlier. Then we travelled to the time of American prohibition with Simon Lipkin as an all-singing all-dancing American professor able to turn water into wine. Several audience members were invited to take part onstage and request their favourite libation and Simon was more than happy to oblige in this incredible trick.
Just before interval Yolanda Ovide introduced a fun optical illusion trick that audience members could try onstage during the interval. This was another great way to get the audience involved and part of the magic!
Act Two commenced and we were treated to a fantastic magic cube trick performed by Samuel Creasey. Again with audience participation, Creasey performed this trick with a cheeky grin pointing out we could take the magic home as the trick he was performing was available for £10 from theatre bar. Following this, Creasey and the very talented Hannah Price wowed the audience as she read the minds of the audience participants and created musical magic.
Yolanda Ovide then took the stage and with the help from a young audience member, performed an incredible balloon trick which was simple, magical and lovely.
Now, a magic show wouldn’t be so magical if all the secrets were given way. The last trick performed by Simon Lipkin and Samuel Creasey was perhaps the most fantastic. Drawing an audience member out at random from the people who said they’d be happy to take part upon entering, Samuel Creasey used astral projection and mentalism with absolutely astounding results! One of those, you have to see it to believe it moments which made the evening all the more mysterious.
Derren Brown’s Unbelievable is a mesmerising blend of stagecraft, magic and mentalism that promises to captivate and delight audiences. With numerous wow moments and ample opportunities for audience participation, Brown has crafted an unforgettable night of entertainment. His unique combination of psychological prowess and showmanship transports viewers into a world where the improbable becomes reality, all while actively involving them in the magic. Unbelievable is a testament to Brown’s exceptional talent and dedication, ensuring an evening filled with wonder and amazement for both seasoned fans and newcomers alike.
Reviewed by Stuart James