Published: 09:00, 21 September 2016
| Updated: 09:48, 21 September 2016
Derren Brown is feeling happy.
Although he has spent more than three years analysing the secrets to being happy for his new book, entitled Happy and presenting a talk show about it – No Tricks: An Evening with Derren Brown – it’s actually partly because he has just got a new puppy.
“I was happy anyway, but her arrival definitely helps. She is a beagle basset cross and she’s lovely,” he said.
His show, which will be at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, on Saturday, September 24, really does have no tricks, despite him making his name as an illusionist, as it is discussing what he has learnt about contentment and happiness, while reading philosophers’ views and delving into ancient teachings on the subject.
He said: “We are sold the idea that happiness is an actual thing, a commodity that we are entitled to. But no one really quite knows what it is.” Part of his studies took him into stoicism, which teaches that knowledge is the highest good and contentment comes from the absence of distractions.
He said: “People have said to me “Have you found it? The secret?” There may not be an easy secret to happiness, but there are effective ways we can approach it indirectly, or even, perhaps, deciding it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
“You cannot control some aspects of your life – trying to leads to frustration and anxiety.”
His search does not mean the end of his hugely popular illusion shows, however, just a natural break from them.
“You grow up and you change and originally I wanted to impress people with tricks,” he said. “My shows became more about real people, it was a natural evolution. This has felt like a thing that is quite separate from all that. This is an issue I find really interesting. My happiness, or my contentedness are much more solid now. I wanted to give people the information I found.”
No Tricks: An Evening with Derren Brown at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells on Saturday, September 24, at 7.30pm will be in the form of a talk, with a question and answer session afterwards with the audience.
For tickets from £25, visit assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk or call 01892 530613.