So what does Derren do?

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Derren Brown: Svengali - Blackpool Opera House

Some reviews are more difficult than others to compose.

Write about a singer and you can refer to their songs.

Sit through an evening of comedy and you can risk re-telling the odd joke or two.

But a Derren Brown show is different.

In this day and age of endless Tweeting and obsessive texting it’s a brave man who asks all 2,499 members of the audience not to let on what they are about to see, not to share with anyone what the show contains and generally just keep quiet about what they have watched. Yeah, right. Fat chance.

Pity then the poor reviewer.

Nice set. Lovely suit. Facial tick not as bad as it was when he made his Blackpool debut at the Grand back in 2007. Did you hear the one about the stage craftsman who could make …….. no, no, that would be breaking the rules.

Given the gentleman’s agreement it’s still fair game to say though that for the first of three nights in Blackpool he was half an hour late coming on stage.

He did apologise. Half his props had gone to the wrong theatre. And he had Tweeted people all day to warn them. Ironic hey? He can Tweet his fans, but they can’t Tweet their friends?

Much of his current material still wouldn’t have gone amiss in a Victorian parlour performance or a travelling side show.

Obviously it’s updated, obviously it’s slicker but it’s still a fusion of auto suggestion, misdirection and plain old fashioned stage skills. But so much bigger scale.

He makes more minds up than a Bucks Fizz chart topper and is in turns irreverently funny and wonderfully melodramatic. He’s a master of the art of…….. but that would be telling too much.

And it would be spoiling the surprises – of which they are many – for an audience of exactly the same size tonight.