Brown says he likes ‘rowdy audiences’ as he announces West End show
erren Brown isn’t fazed by the threat of rowdy theatregoers in his audiences and says he likes it, as tickets for his new West End show Unbelievable – Magic Reimagined go on sale.
Speaking to the Standard, the acclaimed psychological illusionist, 52, said: “Generally my audiences are very well behaved and a bit nervous. I quite like it in my shows if people get a bit rowdy because I can always chuck them out and it makes everybody else a bit scared. I’ll take anything that makes people feel more present and, in the moment, and a bit electric. Chucking somebody out really does that, so if they’re annoying I do it, but it doesn’t happen very often.
“I have had a guy sat in the front eating a pizza in a big pizza box and that was strange because I guess he’s just used to seeing me on TV. I don’t get people singing along too much, but there have been fights; I think when people start shushing each other that’s when it escalates into a fight. I generally enjoy telling people off if I have to, but only because it makes everybody else that little bit more nervous and serves the show. It always has to serve the show ultimately and not have people’s nights ruined by other people.”
Unbelievable has been three years in the making and developed by Brown and the team behind his recent hit tour Showman.
It is due to open at the Criterion Theatre on September 19 and is being touted as “a magic show like no other,” that fuses the best of theatre with jaw-dropping illusions.
It will feature a New York Subway band and a company of multi-talented performers, plus, an updated version of a one act play not seen on the London stage in over 100 years – Will, The Witch and The Wolfman.
In a career first however, Brown – who is co-writing and directing the production with long-time collaborators Andy Nyman and Andrew O’Connor – won’t appear on stage himself.
He said: “We have reimagined what a night of illusion could be. We have taken the love and experience we’ve put into my own stage work over 20 years and created, from the ground up, a proper, original, theatrical experience. I think we have liberated the magic show. It’s going to be a glorious thing.
“I haven’t had the experience of sitting and watching someone go out and do a show that I’ve written and things not working. I’ve experienced that from the stage when things go wrong, I haven’t experienced it from the audience, which I’m sure will bring its own stresses but for the moment it just feels like really a lovely, liberating, situation to be in.
“I’ve toured every year for 20-something years. Of course, as I get older there’s a difference between touring when you’re in your 20s and your 50s and it’s nice to sit back a bit and not be doing that. Especially if you’ve got a partner who is left at home doing all the boring stuff while you’re having fun with your friends, which is always what it seems like.
“I would like to do more of this, not to replace touring, but maybe just to mix it up a bit and perhaps alternate.
“I’ve always just chased things that seem fun and interesting; that has been my criteria from the start and why I’m now doing this. It feels a fun, lovely opportunity and to get to do something I just wouldn’t be able to do if I was writing a show for myself.”
Unbelievable – Magic Reimaginedruns at the Criterion Theatre from September 19 2023 to April 07 2024 . Tickets are on sale now from https://unbelievablelive.com