Born in the UK, comedian-hypnotist Alan Bates has been in the business for more than 20 years. He first became interested in the art when he watched a hypnotist do a show on board a cruise ship he was working on in the Caribbean back in the 1980s, and was instantly spellbound. As he returns to Singapore following his sold-out show here in 2009, he tells Gwen Pew a little bit more about what audiences should expect from his show.
25 Oct 2013: ‘Most people can be hypnotised, but you cannot be hypnotised against your will. The textbook says that under hypnosis you cannot get a person to do anything against their moral values – that’s why I look for people without any values [laughs]. Only joking!
‘We take volunteers from the audience, and they have a great experience. The people who make great hypnotic stars on stage are people with disciplined minds, as this is when the colourful side of their character shines through. However, it’s always healthy to have sceptics in the audience, and by the end of the show their minds are usually totally changed after witnessing regular people doing mind-blowing show routines and out-of-the-box behaviour.
‘The content of the show is decent and respectable, but cheeky with a lot of surprises. [Convincing an audience member that they’ve won] the lottery is always a classic. It’s also fun to have two people on stage – one believes he is from the planet Mars and only speaks in the Martian language (or the way he thinks they speak) and the other is a Martian language expert from Earth who translates for me. It’s guaranteed to have the audience rolling over with laughter.
‘One of my personal favourites is the football sketch. I transform a Manchester United fan into a Liverpool fan and each time he hears a certain piece of music he kisses everybody in the audience on the heads like the players do on the field when they score a goal. When the music stops, they stop and wonder what on Earth they are doing. Then the music starts and off they go again!’