Mind-bending fun at Vivendi

Don’t try this at home.

Hypnosis is an audience
participation sport. Furthermore, only trust yourself to a true hypnotherapist
– and be sure to bring along a gaggle of your closest friends so they can giggle
out loud when you start speaking Japanese (a language you’ve never studied) and
dancing like a disco queen (OK, maybe you’ve done this before, but only alone,
in front of your mirror).

Master stage hypnotist Derek
Marshall, assisted by a brigade of willing volunteers from the audience, showed
how it’s done – all in good fun – in his opening shows last week at Vivendi
cabaret. He didn’t embarrass anyone (no clucking chickens running around the
stage), everyone woke up with all of their faculties intact, and a good time
was had by all.

While it was something of a slow
evening on Friday, with only nine volunteers on stage and some of them
periodically dismissed as they gradually (and quite naturally) “awoke” at varying
times, Marshall nevertheless enlightened and entertained for a full hour.

He even offered to hypnotise the
entire audience and tell us how the show was afterward.

Comedy is a natural complement to
the hypnosis, and there was plenty of it throughout the performance.

“Are we going to be ridiculous up
here?” Marshall queried the audience. “Of course we are!”  He then explained, however, that hypnosis is
that state of consciousness between being truly awake and fully asleep – a
state each of us finds ourselves in at least twice a day. It’s really all about
relaxation, he said, promising that each of the volunteers would feel extremely
relaxed and have their best night’s sleep ever, when all was said and done.

Sure enough, within 15 minutes, the
volunteers fell under the power of suggestion, their heads sagging and then
drooping onto the shoulder of the person sitting next to them on stage. After
the full induction, Marshall touched one of them on the shoulder and suggested
something – something like, the number six no longer exists.

Sure enough, when the young woman
stood up, opened her eyes and counted her fingers, number six was nowhere to be
heard in her re-counting. (At the end of the show, of course, number six was
fully restored to her consciousness.)

The volunteers participated to a
greater or lesser extent in a rock band, driving a Ferrari on West Bay Road,
acting as back-up dancers to the lead in a music video, and yes – speaking in
Japanese, or something that sounded like it – to the audience.

If an altered state of
consciousness sounds like fun to you, sit back, relax and enjoy the mastery of
Derek Marshall – and bring your friends so they can tell you all about it


Marshall performs at Vivendi in the
The Strand shopping plaza at 9pm every Thursday, Friday and Saturday through
the end of the year.