Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced sold out at Adelaide Fringe and was awarded five star reviews; Adelaide native Isaac Lomman (who looks exactly like a stage hypnotist ought to), now brings his show to MICF. It’s something completely different.
I have always been sceptical of stage hypnosis but I'm here today to say that it’s real. Imagine forgetting your own name? Never. But last night a young volunteer did exactly that, then was later persuaded his name was something else altogether.
All the people on stage at Lomman’s show are volunteers from the audience. Because this show depends on members of the public and individuals ‘go under’ to different depths, half the thrill is seeing how readily the participants will obey Lomman’s suggestions. The other half is seeing how far Lomman will go with the suggestions he makes to the volunteers he’s hypnotised. You sit there thinking about the deliciously corrupt possibilities possessing such a skill might offer – or maybe that’s just me...
The results are very funny, especially watching participants reveal aspects of their personalities when asked to imagine different situations, like the audience all being naked, for example. A highlight was seeing one volunteer struggle to resist the suggestion that she stand up and make hula hoop movements when a particular piece of music played – she knew she was compelled to do so but didn’t understand why. Seeing the internal struggles play across the faces of the participants is hilarious and is testament to the genuine effect of trance.
It’s all done with a strong sense of ethics: the show is filmed so participants are able to relive the night later from the audience’s perspective, plus Lomman makes sure they each have total recall of the events once they leave the theatre.
Lomman came to hypnosis through studying the psychology of marketing, which is fascinating enough, and refined his techniques on workmates and friends before creating his shows. He gives a superbly engaging performance and it’s all good clean fun to which you can safely take anyone. Better still, get them to volunteer to be hypnotised themselves.
Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced is unforgettable. And a nice change from stand-up.
Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced
Venue: Athenaeum Theatre | 188 Collins St, Melbourne
Dates: 23 March – 17 April, 2016
Tickets: $20 – $30