Nextly, you may have noticed by now that I am absolutely obsessed with Derren Brown. And I mean obsessed. One of my tutors has actually had the chance to hang out with him and interview him about what he does and I spent 15 minutes gushing to her in our one-on-one session while she probably sat there wondering how she had landed herself such a crazed student.
(I get a lot of questions about who is Derren Brown? but it's quite hard to answer them because I don't know how to explain what he does. I suppose you could say he is a hypnotist, mentalist and illusionist all-in-one who is perfectly honest about his trickery and goes around trying to debunk charlatans, but that doesn't quite cover it because he is more amazing than that and his mind works in incredible ways. Imagine James Randi and amplify him by ten. There you go.)
So, when I found that Svengali was coming to Birmingham way back in January I snatched up tickets at once. It's amazing to think that last year, I was oohing and aahing over his videos in Singapore and vaguely thinking that I would probably never see him and that two weeks ago I was watching him in person, striding very animatedly up and down the stage.
Outfit wise, I got into a bit of a quandry. What does one wear to a show that will look nice, be conducive to possibly climbing up and down lots of steps, be simple enough not to snag or be uncomfortable in case you get hypnotised and have to roll all over the place and still be eye-catching in case the man in question looks your way (he didn't)? I settled for a snazzy variation of my favourite jeans-top combo in my colour of the moment: yellow!
Top - H and M. Jean leggings - New Look.
Flats - New Look. Necklace - Melbourne Flea Market.
Blazer - Tangs Studio.
I got this yellow top from H and M some time ago and I am crazy about the mad colour and the beautiful draping both on the front and back. I thought it would be uber comfortable but formal enough under a blazer. It turned out to work great and even though I didn't end up getting on stage or being hypnotised, I was happy with my very sensible choices.
Something hilarious happened as I was taking the photos for this post - a woman on her afternoon jog huffed right up to the chin-up bars, pretending she didn't see me and started doing vigorous chin ups while I writhed in embarassment mid-pose with her in the background of my photos! I stopped immediately and pretended to take pictures of the grass but I was laughing helplessly at the way we were positioned, her puffing away on the bars and me fiddling with my camera just beside, acting like we didn't see each other!
Shriya, Gruff and I took some funny pictures en route to Birmingham (and noshed on peanut butter cups and jelly beans) - we were all acting out "excitement" at going to see Svengali and Shriya's pose is supposed to represent magic. I told her I thought it represented "raccoon" and she glared at me.
About the show: (you didn't think I wasn't going to gush about it, did you?) it was mindblowing. I am highly biased yes, but I think you would find it difficult not to be impressed anyhow. I cannot tell you what happened because that would spoil it for all other Svengali watchers-to-be but let's just say Derren made it look like he could literally read minds and like he possessed wonderful magical powers. He's a consummate showman and his mind works so quickly that I was having trouble keeping up.
What's really impressive is how fast on his feet he is and how he carries a three hour show, almost on his own, with just his skill and wit. He was just as funny, charming and attractive as I'd hoped he'd be and like he always is, he was kind and made you feel safe despite the supposed "mind-control" feats he was performing. I could go on and on, but really, what makes me very happy is that I'll always have this experience to look back on fondly, over and above all the TV specials and interviews that he's done and look back fondly, I will.
If you're thinking of going to check it out, Svengali is mid-run in the UK right now and I would highly recommend it, particularly if you have any interest in psychology, magic tricks, hypnotism or cold-reading.
I'll post more soon, but it'll be a little sporadic for now as I'm in the middle of trying to get a 10,000 word portfolio done for assessment. Eeek. Nonetheless, hope you guys enjoyed!