For the past month, I’ve been performing the Hyprov show at the Edinburgh Fringe, which mixes stage hypnotism with improv games.
The show has been well-received by audiences, but we have had a few poor reviews online, as a small group of customers think that we plant people in the audience/
In their harsh reviews on edfringe.com, they have accused us of preselecting and planting people to be hypnotised on stage, as well as arranging for people in the audience to scream out the ideas for the improv experiments.
I assure you that we do no such thing. I will put my money where my mouth is if anyone can prove that I used a plant in one of my shows at the Edinburgh Fringe, and that the plant was told by me to fake being hypnotised onstage, I will pay them £500 from my own pocket.
Yes, it is true that good hypnotic subjects will occasionally come back to the show to get hypnotised again because they enjoyed the experience – though such instances are few and far between. However, I at no point told them to ‘pretend’ to be hypnotised, nor asked them to volunteer.
If you check out #hyprov on Twitter, you will see that an overwhelming majority of our fans don’t think that it’s fixed, and we have been getting rave reviews from critics and fans alike.
So I’m not sure if I should be happy or mad about these complaints. If I take the happy route, it means that our show is so good that these people actually think that we planted people on stage. If I take the angry route, these people are essentially calling me a fraud.
I have been honing my skill set for 17 years; I tour around the world performing Hyprov, and frankly, it would not be cost-effective for me or my clients to have me fly 20 people for each show just so that they can perform by my side.
I challenge these people who have accused me of using plants to come back to see our show so that they know for themselves that we don’t use plants, because the volunteers, as well as the ideas for the experiments, change nightly.
Actually, I have a better idea. The sceptics should volunteer to be hypnotized so that they know once and for all that the show is 100 per cent real.