A newcomer to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Isaac Lomman from Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced could sell me on anything – whether he’s trying to sell me a car or the gum off the bottom of his shoe. His voice is so soothing that it put the skeptic in me instantly at ease.
He doesn’t make any grand promises or try and tell you there are any guarantees, rather gently explains what hypnotism is about while stating the boundaries he sets for the show – in particular no one will be fornicating with chairs.
Every night he has a new audience, a new group of volunteers, and a brand new show to go along with it. A true professional, he handles the dynamic changes day in and out with such ease that you wonder if it’s staged (or, as one of the volunteers joked, ‘aren’t we all plants?’). I wasn’t going to be taken in that easily so I asked my Plus One to be a volunteer. She was more sceptical than I was so I thought this would be interesting.
He slowly goes through initial motions to try and put his group of volunteers in a trance and asks those less susceptible to return to their seats in the crowd. Sometimes most are left, but tonight only three remained – including my plus one! While she isn’t great at Irish dancing or hula hooping, she was very confident at one point that everyone kept their phones in their shoes.
I asked her afterwards what the experience was like. For her, she said that at times she didn’t understand what she was doing or why, but that it didn’t change her personal boundaries at all – instead of ‘rawr-ing’ like a dinosaur when she was sipping water, she just kept laughing because she found it ridiculous that she had the urge to do it.
Charismatic and charming, Isaac turns ‘reality into plastic’, warping your ideas of what the human imagination is capable of. See the show, or be in the show – either way you’ll be laughing your way into believing.
Samantha is a sardonic consumer of caffeine and future crazy cat lady who occasionally writes things. Find her on Facebook.
‘Comedy Hypnosis! Entranced’ is playing until 17 April at the Athenaeum Theatre. The venue is accesible. Purchase tickets.
Check out our guide to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for more great shows.