“ Derek Acorah is currently probably the most popular medium in the UK and continues to attract many people into the world of spiritual contact and mediumship. „
This is a review of 'an evening with Derek Acorah' which I went to at the Doncaster Dome. Tickets were £20 each and I took a friend for her birthday.
We were both aware of Derek from the TV Programme 'Most Haunted' where Derek uses his medium skills to speak to spirits.
The doors opened at 7pm and we were a little early so had a drink in the bar. We clocked some strange types (no offence meant) in the bar and noted that there seemed to be a type of person who attends these kind of events.
We stood in a queue for about 30 minutes before we go to our seats and Derek came on just after 7.30 pm. He spent approx 15 minutes explaining what he did and introduced us to Sam his spiritual guide who he spoke to throughout the night.
On the stage were two cameramen with cameras facing out into the audience. They would give the audience member a microphone and film them when they spoke.
Derek said there was a long line of spirit people who had come into the atmosphere to talk to their loved ones and with that he began. The first person that he spoke to turned out to be for the family we had clocked in the bar. They were in a box at the top so it took a while to locate them. The spirt just wanted to say that she didn't like 'John' (another family member) and Derek asked the woman if she wanted to come on the stage (jokingly) as she was interacting really well with him. She offered her son who was a medium to come down but luckily Derek changed the subject - we didn't pay to see her son, we went to see Mr Acorah!
In the first half, Derek spoke to about five people and it was all sorts from grandparents to people who died young in accidents etc. Some people were a bit nervous on the microphone and some were really confident. You could tell Derek spoke longer to the confident people than the ones who were shy or witholding information from him (ie. just answering yes or no).
After an hour it was the interval and we were intrigued but not entirely convinced. Some of the connections seemed a bit random, like one old lady who came through to someone who worked in a care home and she wanted to apologise for her behaviour whilst she was there as she had alzheimers and was a bit sharp with the staff.
In the second half, he spoke to an American lady in the audience who said she was training to be a medium. He made lots of connections with her and people she had spoken to previously and it seemed she had come a long way to see him and out of the 700 ish people there he picked her to speak to so I suppose it wasn't a wasted trip.
There was a sad one related to someone who had been killed in a car accident and another person who committed suicide, they were trying to get messages back to their parents that they were OK and had people in the audience that knew them slightly.
Another person he spoke to he ran up into the audience to find them and it was a young woman's grandma, she didn't know her name but said that she had been in her dreams. The Grandma rated her boyfriend out of 10 and told the bloke to get a ring on her finger for after they were married they would have twins. The bloke looked a bit shocked. I wondered if, when Derek ran up he had a look to see if she was wearing a ring??? Derek also tried to make a joke about the fact that when spirits come through at 'inappropriate moments' they will excuse themselves as there are rules about these kind of things. He made out that she had 'tried' to visit last night but had to leave quickly. He got a cheap laugh out of the audience for that one but I felt it was at the expense of the young couple.
The last person Derek spoke to was really random. He got a name "Margaret Kelly or Maggie" and this woman in the audience put her hand up and said "My mother used to sing 'on mother kelly's doorstep' and Derek said "yes it's you, she is reacting to your voice" and i thought this was a bit of a loose connection. Derek then said "Who is Beryl?" and the woman after a minutes thought said "ooh, she died three days ago, she is my aunt." and we thought it took her a while to remember this as it was a recent passing. The lady went on to be quite upbeat and entertaining and Derek got lots of laughs out of her, telling her that all the family (in the spirit world) were coming home with her for a party then he ended the night (on an upbeat tone we thought quite deliberate).
On reflection, I think he left a lot of people disappointed that they had not had a message from a loved one. I saw one old lady in tears when we were leaving and felt really sorry for her. But realistically if he speaks to 10 people in an audience of 700 ish then there are a lot of people who are just there for the ride if you see what I mean.
Whilst I felt he was padding a bit at times and also some bits were vague and the messages a bit random, Derek is a great entertainer. Sometimes, he struggled to find the person in the audience that the message was for but he would just wait a bit longer as it was 'important' etc and some of the readings were a bit too long (there's nothing more boring that other people's family trees and aunty this and uncle that etc!) but maybe that's just me being mean.
It felt a bit short for £20 as most of the night we were waiting and queing and I think the actual show was only about 1hr 30 mins when you take out the padding, waiting, explanations and stalling. I enjoyed it but came out questioning some of the connections he made.
Certainly the first (the medium family in the box) and the last (the jolly jolly lady who was really good on the microphone etc. felt a bit contrived. But really, who knows?
I had been a huge fan of Derek Acorah for many years. He first came to my attention when he was the Medium in the Living programme 'Most Haunted'. My eldest Niece and I used to love to watch him communicate with the Spirit world and this was the highlight of our week to see what happened to him and the Team. However it was always him that captivated my imagination.
About Derek Acorah:
Derek Acorah first choice of career was not as a Medium. He wanted to be a professional footballer, having been on Liverpool's books for the age of 15. But by 26 a knee injury had brought a premature ending to this career. He inherited his gift for Mediumship from his Grandma. From there is placed an advert in the Liverpool Echo for private readings and never looked back. He enjoyed many years of success with Television programmes such as Most Haunted, Ghost Towns plus James Whale's radio programme. He is regarded my many believers as the number one Medium in this country.
When my Niece told me she had managed to get tickets to see Derek Acorah's live 2009 Tour I was really excited. He as part of this tour was to play one night at the Wycombe Swan and I really looked forward to the night. The tickets were £20 which although quite expensive I thought would be worthwhile to see this man in action.
It was my first visit to this theatre and it appeared a wonderful arena. It was modern, clean and had had a good atmosphere about it. I did notice that the audience were mainly women and I wondered if it was that women are more open to the concept of the afterlife or if it was because he is a real showman. Finally the big moment dawned when the lights went down and the music started up. It was quite glitzy and probably a bit flash for me with the dramatic music, flashing lights and big announcement of Derek Acorah on stage.
He came on stage in a suit and looked exactly as he did on television, he was confident and looked very handsome. I was immediately impressed by how comfortable he seemed with several hundred people staring at him. He had not real props unless you call a table with a jug of water and a glass one. Immediately he introduced himself and tried to get the audience involved in the show, which I thought was a good ice breaker.
Then with the aid of his spirit guide Sam he tried to communicate with those who had passed on to the 'other side'. He told us a little about Sam who lived 2000 years ago in Ethiopia and who scratched out a living as a farmer, but was always a rebel within his community. I found Derek to be very clear and easy to understand as he spoke and also very witty as a stand up performer. I found his humour good and that fact he did not seem to take himself to seriously was for me refreshing.
However that was as good as it got for me. As Derek with the aid of Sam his spirit guide would bring people forward from the world of spirit who wanted to communicate with a loved one in the audience. Firstly, I found the information he was getting to be very weak and open to interpretation. Telling us he had a lady called Elizabeth who died in her 60's or 70's with a heart or chest problems, was a typical type line he would us. It could have applied to at least 10 members of the audience. He needed to be more specific but he never was.
Not only that the messages he was getting did not seem to be earth shattering or particularly interesting. After Derek would describe them a little he would say things like well John just wanted to say hello and let you know he is always with you and sends his love. I found it all quite dull and boring after all the excitement I had enjoyed over the years in Most Haunted.
Of course it may have been very different if he had picked me out and brought someone from my past back to speak through Derek to me. As I would have been able to tell, I hope from his descriptions and actions if it was all true or not.
I keep thinking sooner or later he will do something that will prove to me what a fantastic Medium he is. But as the show went on I become more disillusioned with it and really started to question weather it was all based on luck, generalizations and that people just wanted to hear and believe in him and the afterlife.
I will not say for man moment that Derek Acorah isn't a fantastic showman as he could have entertained us with his quick wit and his ability to think on his feet for hours. For me it was a fascinating evening but for me on that particular evening he did nothing to prove the existence of the afterlife and I found his Mediumship to be quite disappointing. I so wanted to be convinced but on this occasion he did not live up to my very high expectations.
It was just over two hours entertainment. What surprised me was it was literally just Derek show, no warm up act no nothing, which actually worked for me as he was the only person I wanted to see. On the way in a brought myself a programme, I wish I hadn't it cost £5 and was a mere 14 pages mainly of pictures of Derek with other celebraties. It told me little about his Childhood, his gift of being a Medium, instead to focused on his merchandise, his future Television Programmes such as 'The Three Mediums and Psychic magazines he writes for.
All in all for me this was a very disappointing evening. I enjoyed seeing Derek Acorah in this flesh and seeing what a charismatic performer he is, but and this is the important thing, he failed to convince me of his Mediumship abilities. I found him too generalistic in what he said and I thought they could have applied to most people and sitiations. It was worth a visit but I am not sure I would do it again as my faith is now severally in doubt.
Thanks for reading my review.
This review is published under my user name on Dooyoo.
For more information about Derek Acorah: www.derekacorah.org
@CPTDANIELS September 2009.
i have just spent a very expensive and very boring evening in birmignham watching derek accorah decieving people over and over again. Having read the article by Don and Jean Sweet in scarbourough at a same show from 2005!, i am shocked thouroughly that what is now three years later, is like reading the show i have just been to!!! the exact same names are used, the preganancy, the demetia, the patial eyesight, the names - all the very same things!!! i am disgusted, as some of the audience wer in tears at a man who obviously does the same thing day in and day out and makes money out of the hope of innocent people worrying about those who have died. he used teh same name anne, except this time, an audience member had a friends daughter whose name was Leanne who had died and he seemed to just roll with the story. in addition to this, he got so much wrong. he even did the pregnancy thing and got that soooo wrong!everything that Don an Jean have wrote is identical to what was said and occured tonight - even right down to sam doesnt liek the lights! i saw Derek having a drink in the local pub before the show, hes obviously enjoying the profits of fooling people. how sad and dispaapiointing, he should be struck off by trading standards. Disgusting
I went to see Derek Acorah at the Fairfield halls in Croydon. I am a fan and indeed a believer. This show did nothing to turn me away, it simply confirmed Derek as a gentleman trying to share his gift with the world. He happens to be a great showman and it is easy to warm to him. I have since booked up to see him again for 2 coming shows in 2007. One word, fantastic!
I am not a believer nor am I a disbeliever so when I was given a treat of going to the theatre I was surprised to find out we were going to see the Derek Acorah stage show. I had never been to a séance or to a spiritualist meeting and the only thing I knew about Derek Acorah was a programme on TV called 'Most Haunted!' where some people wander around in the dark scaring the pants off one another and saying things like "It's very cold, can you feel how cold it is?" Well, yes, it would be cold! You are walking round an empty building with no heating! Or "Did you hear that sound?" I would be very surprised if you didn't hear sounds at the dead of night in a deserted building. However, I was very intrigued so let the show commence
The Stage Setting.
This particular show was at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, which is a beautiful old theatre with particularly good views of the stage no matter where you sit. We were sat around 20 rows from the front in centre aisle seats. The tabs (Curtains) were back to reveal the stage. On stage left was what looked like a very large display of flowers. This was, in fact, to hide a camera, which was put on the audience so that everyone could see the person Derek was being asked to make contact with. On stage right was a table with a jug of water and a glass. In the middle of the stage at the back was a huge screen to project the camera shots onto. Below this was a banner with script on it, it read
To the believer no proof is necessary
To the unbeliever no proof is possible
Sam's True spirit words to Derek from the world of spirit
Derek's entrance and first encounter.
Derek was introduced and the packed theatre went mad with clapping cheering and lots of shouts of "Hello Derek!" and "How are you doing mate?" He then spent a few minutes introducing himself and explaining what would happen whilst, all the time, walking around the stage. I felt that the head mike he was wearing could have been louder but perhaps that's just my hearing. In the midst of talking he turned and walked to the front of the stage pointed towards the back left and said 'Nelly! Has anyone got someone called Nelly in spirit world?' No one said anything but he continued to ask, pointing towards a certain area at the back. The camera was now scanning that part of the audience, who could see themselves on the screen, and I was dying for someone to jump up and shout 'Hello Mum!' but they didn't. Derek homed in on a certain lady, whom I have to say looked completely bemused, and said "Do you have anyone in spirit world called Nelly?" She answered, "Yes." I cannot help wondering why she had not said 'Yes' straight away. She was passed a microphone by one of the helpers who were dotted around the theatre. Derek then began to ask questions and it turned out that Nelly was this lady's Aunt. I don't know if it was the fact that she could not believe anyone would want to speak to her, the fact that she did not believe it or the simple fact that she was shy but she was not very forthcoming with her answers and Derek moved on.
The Second Encounter.
At this point Derek turned to the side and said, "What was that Sam?" I found out that Sam is Derek's spirit guide and that throughout the show he would spend time wandering about speaking to thin air, or so it seemed to me, however, the audience loved it and it occurred to me that this only happened when there was a lull in the proceedings. Was this man really talking to someone from beyond or was he a very good showman? I still wasn't sure. At this point Derek asked did anyone know a Bob or Robert who would have been around 6' 1" in height and worked as a sheet metal worker because he could see him bending metal round something. The camera again homed in on a couple of ladies who said 'Yes they knew a Bob.' It was her granddad and he was a big man who worked in a foundry. Derek seemed pleased to have found them and started to ask questions like "Have you got a sister?" She replied 'No, but I have a sister-in-law. Derek nodded and said "She has children hasn't she?" The lady replied, "Yes four." Derek asked if she would be having anymore to which he got a resounding 'No.' At this point he laughed and said Sam is telling me different he says there is a child in spirit form waiting to come to them and the next baby they have will be a little girl. There was not reaction to this. Derek then asked "Have you got a guinea pig?" She said 'No'. So he asked if she had a rabbit. Again she said 'No' but the lady then said, "We used to have a gerbil but it ran under the fridge and wouldn't come out and eventually died." Derek laughed and said "Yes, I know, because it's here and your granddad keeps moving it out of the way with his foot!"
The Third Encounter
Derek asked did anyone know a Bill and May Kendal. He was looking up into the balcony and when no one answered he said laughingly "Don't make me come up there". The crowd went crazy, clapping and shouting "C'mon Derek". The camera moved to the back of the balcony and zoomed in on three ladies who had been moved from their seats to stand at the back. The blonde lady in the middle said, "Derek, I know Bill and May Kendal. They were a lovely couple. They were healers and we worked together because I am a medium!" Derek then turned and spoke to Sam saying, "Right Sam. Right". He then asked the lady if she knew anyone called 'Jackie'. She said, "Yes, my friend". Then Derek asked did she know a 'Dave' and she said her brother-in-law was called Dave. He asked her was he 'all right' and she said 'as far as she knew'. Derek was insistent that she phone him straight away because he felt that he was in difficulties, He then asked "Who is Linda?" The lady turned to her left and said, "My friend here is Linda, Derek". He then asked her, "Are you starting a business?" She said that she was, with the blonde lady. Now call me suspicious but it just seemed a little too set up. Out of all the people there a medium is contacted not with a 'John' or a 'Pete' but 'Bill and May Kendal'! If that was a guess it was a really good one. Who do you think was fibbing? Derek or the blonde lady?
The Forth Encounter
After Derek took a break (The intermission) I felt the whole show took on a different feel. I cannot comment on how these shows usually go, because this is the first I have ever been to, but I felt very uncomfortable, Derek walked around the stage in quite a sombre mood and then said, "On our way to Manchester I was contacted by the spirit of a little girl around the age of 11 or 12 years of age who had passed away from a tumour or something in her head and this poor soul wanted to contact her parents. He then asked the audience does anyone know a Pat or a Tina. He looked up into the balcony and said, "I am drawn up there to the right-hand side". No one made any kind of sound. However, I did take this opportunity to look at the audience, who were now starting to shift in their seats, and many did look as uncomfortable as I felt. Eventually, after what seemed an age, Derek said, "Don't make me come up there!" The crowd cheered and clapped and shouted, "Come on up Derek". Once again my suspicious mind went into overdrive. I firmly believe this was a smoke screen, because the audience had started to become unsettled, but as soon as Derek started to make his way up onto the balcony the crowd rallied and started cheering, shouting 'Good old Derek'. He asked in a certain area and someone did say, "Yes" but it turned out that they were not the right person. So, he asked again and, would you believe it, the blonde lady medium stood up again and said she knew who it was because she had been giving a reading to the dead girls mother. I couldn't help thinking what a good place to advertise for free. Derek asked who Pat was and the blonde medium said Pat was the girl's aunt who had been with her when she passed away. Derek asked her to pass a message to the girl's parents that she was all right and that she would be sending her mother a sign and not to be frightened. He also made a point of telling everyone that he had never met the blonde lady before and he got her to confirm it. The next part was unpleasant. Derek said that this little girl was accompanied by a young drug addict. She was a girl around 19 years of age, who was waif thin, and had passed away via a drugs overdose. Did anyone know Rachel? Someone said they did and he asked if they could tell her family that she was all right. I don't know if it was the content or the fact that this show was no longer entertaining but the atmosphere in the audience had definitely altered.
I have to say that when Derek announced that he was nearing the end of his show I was relieved. Derek then said he would take a question and answer slot. He looked round and said does anyone want to say anything. The audience were still quiet from the last part involving the two girls so he asked again and someone at the back shouted "You are a w*****" Derek just smiled and held up his hands again. I could not help but wonder if this was a plant or a diversion because of course the audience rose to his defence and the mood lifted. I must add that no one was reprimanded or put out for the outburst although there were lots of Derek's people about so they must have seen who shouted. At this point Derek pointed to a lady not far from where we were sitting and said, "Do you know a George? A slightly overweight man who smiled a lot." She shook her head and said that her grandfather was like the man Derek had described but his name was David George. Derek said, "Yes that's him." and that he had a message for her niece to say that the flowers she keeps smelling are from him and not to be frightened of her gift because he knew she was physic. She said she would pass on the message and Derek moved away but I did notice that the young girl sitting next to the lady had broken down in tears. Derek then spent several minutes answering questions about guardian angels and birds and other bits and pieces. He then thanked everyone and said goodnight and bowed and moved to go off stage. Now I have been to lots of shows of all kinds and even the most mundane receive fairly enthusiastic applause however this was not 'encore type' applause. It was not a very good applause at all. People had started to get out of their seats and make there way out. No one stood in ovation. It was just a few of us politely clapping for all we were worth. Derek came back, took another bow and the applause had stopped before he left the stage.
I am reviewing the show and not Mr. Acorah's ability but I feel that the show is Mr. Acorah so I will have to put the two together. As I have already said, I have never been to a spiritualist meeting so I don't know how these go but I have been to lots of shows and I am a regular theatregoer. I think Mr. Acorah is a showman in every way. He knows how to play an audience and is not averse to using some tricks of the trade to get back on track. He is charming, quite good looking, very presentable and articulate. He is amusing and with the Liverpudlian accent, even in Manchester, had the audience warming to him. The actual show depends on whether or not you believe. If you do then I suppose the content is down to the spirits and who decides to come through but if you do not believe then it was not a good content.The bit about the two girls really upset me and left me feeling very sad for those in the audience who had perhaps lost a child. I felt the chats with people were overly long and a little hit and miss. The names were names in everyday use and who hasn't got a deceased relative that was slightly overweight and smiled a lot? The bit with the medium felt rehearsed. If it wasn't then the blonde medium got free advertising to about 300 people. Would I go again? A resounding 'No!' but I do not want to put anyone off. If you believe, go along, as you may just be contacted. If you don't then, don't waste your money, go and see a real show