Set to be an eventful evening Martin S Taylor is the first and only stage hypnotist not to use a hypnotic trance. In his show Hypnotism Without Hypnosis, the volunteers stay wide awake and fully aware. Yet they perform all the ingenious and unforgettable routines for which Martin is famous.
The show starts with a lighthearted lecture about the modern psychology of hypnosis. Combining science with jokes and anecdotes from his thirty years’ experience, Martin debunks the notion of a hypnotic trance.
Then volunteers are welcomed on stage, the demonstration starts, and within minutes people are stuck to their chairs, forget their names, and find they can no longer speak English – all through the power of suggestion.
Martin’s interest in hypnosis was kindled when he worked as a magician back in the 1980s. He gave his first show to fellow students at Imperial College, to enormous acclaim. (The headline in the student newspaper was “Lecture Success! Audience Falls Asleep!”) His fame spread, and soon he was working regularly at schools and universities around the country, including at Bristol where a young undergraduate named Derren Brown was so impressed he decided then and there to become a hypnotist himself.
What will happen in tonight’s show? Martin himself doesn’t know – the show entirely depends on the personalities of the volunteers.
One thing is certain, though: at the end of the show, they will confirm that they weren’t hypnotised, asleep, or in a trance.
Ticket price: £12.75