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21 November, 2019

Isaac Lomman indulges in some good old-fashioned mind control

It’s difficult to say what one should expect going into Hypnosis [Live], so tantalising are the possibilities promised by its premise.

The idea of a theatre performance in which audience members are lulled into a trancelike state sounds less like the stuff of a modern theatre festival, and more like the occultist salons popular in the Belle Epoque.

Yet despite his laid-back showmanship, performer Isaac Lomman clearly takes his craft seriously, even as his subjects find themselves in increasingly bizarre predicaments—including, but not limited to, skulking through the audience as if they’re a spy and answering their shoe as if it is a telephone.

There’s great fun to be had in puzzling over the participants’ suggestibility, which varies considerably between the volunteers, with some seeming to succumb completely and others remaining largely unaffected.

Lomman’s show rarely delves into the mechanics of what is happening, and though his secrecy entertains in the tradition of vaudeville magicians, it makes for a relatively conventional take on an intriguing topic.

With the science of hypnosis playing a supporting role to its capacity for amusement the audience is required to suspend its disbelief, and in the case of this reviewer, left wanting more than the performance offers.

That being said, it’s not often you get to watch a room full of people be literally hypnotised, which alone makes Hypnosis [Live] worth the price of a ticket.