One of the fascinating things about hypnosis is that no two demonstrations are alike – what you get depends entirely on the audience.
So with Martin S Taylor coming to talk to us we have no idea what to expect – and neither does he. What we do know is that we'll get a fascinating and witty insight into the way hypnosis really works, delivered by a professional hypnotist – but a hypnotist who doesn't use hypnosis.
Martin gave his first lecture-demonstration (always a lecture-demonstration, never a show) when he was a student back in 1981. Within ten years his talk had become so popular that he was able to go fully professional. But in the time since that first appearance his views on hypnosis have changed considerably.
Originally, like most people, he believed hypnosis was a special state of mind – that people were actually going into some mysterious trance. But discussions with sceptical friends and scientists combined with his own experience have led him to realise that stage hypnosis is nothing more than a combination of suggestion, peer pressure, and obedience. Not that that makes it any less astonishing!
Tonight he will be combining a thoroughly scientific debunking of the trance myth with anecdotes from his career, while illustrating them with video clips of his performances, and - who knows – maybe some live demonstrations on the audience.
All without using hypnosis, of course.