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How Does the Svengali Doll Trick Work? History - Derren Brown
Before we start, take a look at the picture on the right. It is the poster for Derren Brown - Svengali. Stare at the picture for 10 seconds or so, focusing on the stage area. Then continue reading through the page, but once you reach the end come back and take another look at the picture, focusing on the stage area once again. Has your perspective changed, it's truly amazing.
Once again Derren Brown has been touring the country with another new and exciting show. This time the show is named Svengali. Many people have snubbed the show and said that although it was a very good few hours of entertainment, they feel that it was not as good as some of his previous shows. Derren Brown has performed a number of amazing tricks and there's bound to be plenty more in his still relatively young career. If you haven't already seen the show and do not want it to be spoilt for you then I suggest that you leave the page right now as we will be discussing the tricks that happen during the show.
The Svengali Doll trick is different from other tricks that Derren Brown has performed in the past. It's different because rather than Derren Brown performing mind control and mind reading techniques, it is the Svengali doll that does all the work for him. So let's remind ourselves of what the Svengali Doll actually does during the show. Firstly, it completely takes over the mind of someone from the audience, to the extent that they go into a kind of trance whereby they can copy everything the doll is doing, without even looking at it. In the show that I watched live it began by asking a lady from audience to come up on the stage. The lady had recently lost her mother and amazingly the Svengalli Doll knew the initials and then the full name of the deceased mother. It was a really incredible sight to see, and the whole time my scepticism was kicking in, meaning that I didn't let Derren out of my sight. For those that believe Derren had a remote control in his hand and was instructing the doll - you would be wrong.
Derren told us that the Svengali doll was over 200 years old and was created by a man that had lost his son at a very young age. He then developed the doll as a replica of his son. It then became an obsession and it is believed that he actually created a doll that is able to think for itself, and see things that we aren't capable of seeing, doing or knowing. Apparently Derren Brown had been aware of the story of the doll for quite some time but it had been missing for a number of years and nobody knew of it's whereabouts. It then appeared at an auction and Derren Brown snapped it up and fixed up the doll to it's original working condition.
When the doll has guessed the initials of the lady's lost loved one, the boy who is being controlled by the doll is sitting facing another direction and is handed a chalkboard and some chalk. Unconsciously he writes the initials that the doll is pointing towards. Derren Brown doesn't say anything that could influence the boys decision and this is what makes the trick super amazing. Normally Derren Brown uses suggestion to get his audience to do, say or write what it is that he wants from them, but in this case Derren Brown just stands back and watches it all happen. After a couple of minutes the boy is brought back into the real world again and was simply speechless. He didn't know why he wrote the initials he did and he didn't really know what was going on. Derren then asked him if he would mind him poking a needle through the upper side of his hand whilst in a trance and under the spell of svengali once again. The boy agrees and Derren continues by removing the hand from the doll and bringing it over to the boy. He then tells the boy that his hand is just like the dolls hand; wooden and with no sense of feeling. Within seconds the boy has lost feeling in his hand and is happy for Derren to stick a needle right through the top. Derren does exactly that and the boy feels no pain whatsoever, and pushes it right through before removing the needle only for there to be no trace of blood.
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The Svengali doll trick is a complete mystery. If you have any ideas of how he might have done it then please feel free to comment at the bottom of the page. As well as the Svengali doll there was lots of other entertainment on show...
Derren Brown asked the audience to think of an embarressing moment that they would not want anyone to know about. He then randomly selects people from the audience to stand up and rushes a microphone over to them. As they stand there with their faces enlarged on the screen at the front of the stage, they are probably praying that Derren Brown doesn't disclose their most inner secrets - But as you have probably guessed, he does exactly that. There was only lady who had poo'd in her shower and another woman who had stolen money from the church as a child to buy herself some sweets from the sweet shop. To be honest it was actually quite an uncomfortable feeling for the audience, whereby you felt that he could pick on you and there was nothing you could do about it.
The show ends with a big bang whereby a series of balloons are shot out into the audience and then the birthday girl has to select three people to come on stage. At this stage it is similar to other tricks that has performed before, and a series of numbers and events leads to a mind baffling finale.
Do you think you know how Derren used the Svengali doll? Is it really magical and mind controlling or is it all a stunt with made up history and story telling designed to create an enigmatic atmosphere. You decide, and share your view with us at the bottom of the page.
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