Perth Fringe review: Hypnotist Matt Hale turns audience members into cheerleaders during 80s-themed show

This family-friendly show took a bit of time to warm up to but took us by surprise. We’re not sure if it’s because of the bangin’ 80’s music, the humour or the hypnosis.

This is an audience-participatory show, Matt Hale has no interest in forcing people to be involved, and in fact states that the show will not work if you are fighting the state of relaxation he’s encouraging from you. With this in mind, he asked for volunteers.

Shockingly, the front row was free when we got into the Town Hall, which allowed Amanda to quickly jump up on stage when bodies were requested.

It was a spectacle. Matt enjoys what he does, that’s clear, and what he was making people do for the crowd. Pair those with 80’s bangers and the audience couldn’t be more on board.

After the volunteers arrive on stage and start their meditative state, Matt explains how the show will work, and what will happen next, dividing his attention between the audience and the people sat on stage.

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He started with about 24 people on stage and took that down to 16. One by one, he noticed the people who weren’t taking the relaxation seriously, or playing up for the audience, versus listening to his voice. It was a clever way to go about it, getting a bunch of volunteers to then cull down to the ones that are actually going to aid you in your show.

Amanda herself says that she was fighting it for a bit, until she noticed how many people had been removed from the stage (she had her eyes closed for a long time, of course), and then really let herself go.

Sarria got a video of Amanda going from awake to relax, and the speed at which Amanda’s head slumped down in relaxation bordered on whiplash.


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