Hypnosis delivers exactly what it promises: a quick-paced demonstration of hypnosis in practice. An assortment of audience members are seated onstage and masterfully sunk into a deep trance, prone and susceptible to the hypnotiser’s suggestions (Oh, how I would abuse that power). I entered Isaac Lomman’s dimly lit tent feeling suspicious and skeptical; at the end of the show, I left confused and amazed.
Lomman is tall, suave and speaks with the slick energy and rapid pace of an auctioneer or used-car salesman. His energy and presence commands the full attention of all audience members, hypnotized or not.
For the timid among us, who attend Fringe shows in fear of being picked out of the audience by an overly enthusiastic performer, please be reassured – you will only be hypnotized if you enthusiastically (and nimbly) rush the stage. For those who would rather be the show than watch it – sit up front if you can.
Throughout the show, the volunteers on stage participate in increasingly odd and hilarious behavior. Forget watching a handful of people who think they’re chickens peck about a stage – how about watching someone completely forget the number seven? The show is run with high ethical standards; those onstage are reminded to be aware of their surroundings and not put anyone at risk, even while wildly Irish-dancing across the stage. I still found myself pondering what the morals of hypnosis are – is it wrong to make someone believe they are sitting in a red-hot chair, even if they only scorch their butts in their minds?
I had never witnessed hypnosis before the show, and I was so flummoxed by Lomman’s performance I spent the remainder of the night falling ever deeper into a Wikipedia spiral on how hypnosis works. I would love to hear from someone who had been hypnotized, to find out what their experience was like. How does it feel? Did you feel like resisting the commands you were given? And, the question that has haunted me the longest – when Isaac hypnotized you to believe the front side of his impeccable dark suit had vanished... just, please describe.
Hypnosis is a thoroughly entertaining and mystifying night out, which is great for all ages and bound to get you meditating on the power of the mind. Or, maybe, that was just suggested to me while I was under.