Isaac Lowman, Adelaide’s own stage hypnotist, is enthralling as he conjures hilarity and amazement from a stage full of volunteers. Lowman is slick, with bright white teeth, immaculate hair, and a Vegas-esque showmanship that captures from the get-go. It’s easy to see why. What he promises is fascinating stuff: to take his subjects to the deepest creative centre of the mind to unleash strange and wondrous effects of the imagination. His show relies entirely on audience participation, and there was a mad rush of volunteers who poured onto the stage and eagerly settled into the stiff plastic chairs. Clearly, plenty are curious to experience the mind-trance that Lowman promises.
Hypnosis is a blissful experience, he explains, dispelling a few ‘cheeky myths’ about the dangers of never waking up, of losing one’s will to another, or stripping naked and humiliating oneself. As his rapid yet strangely soothing voice tumbled commands to the volunteers, it became apparent that hypnosis does, indeed, seem a wonderful state to inhabit. Giggles erupted from the audience as volunteers’ heads fell upon one another’s shoulders, or their bodies slumped forward like rag dolls. Lowman holds a fascinating command over his subjects, and one that is well worth seeing. It is not only for the strange spells that his volunteers enact, but the vivid power of the mind’s focus and imagination that is truly captivating.
I found myself drawn towards the subtler of his achievements, such as the girl who thought the person to her right stank every time someone shook her hand, eliciting a cringe, a frown and a giggle. There were, of course, far more spectacular results. One man lost his ability to say the number seven, which resulted in very imaginative ways to answer numerical questions. A woman had her name wiped from her memory and replaced with Ei-Ai-Ei-Ai-Oh, something perfectly in keeping with normal life, according to her new world view. There were certainly a lot of laughs, and many curious moments, but it didn’t step beyond the boundaries of what one might expect at a hypnosis show. Lowman’s stage presence is shiny and fine-tuned, but perhaps too much, and that, for me at least, took away some of the magic. However, no two shows will ever be the same, as volunteer’s reactions, and Lowman’s suggestions, change and rotate each night. Comedy Hypnosis is clean, mesmerising fun, sure to delight spectators and participants of all ages.