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Words and Pictures by Hannah O’Hanlon
The Freemasons organisation is known for being a bit of an enigma and for a few people the events in Campbeltown’s St John’s 141st lodge last Saturday night will remain a mystery.
Club member Josh Parr organised comedy hypnotist Richard Roberts to put on a show at the lodge and he certainly kept the audience entertained.
Although the doors opened at 7pm, it was after 9pm before smoke and lights filled the stage and a smartly-dressed Mr Roberts made his entrance.
Nominees and volunteers filled the stage, waiting anxiously and excitedly to be put under Mr Roberts’ spell.
Before be began, Mr Roberts warned: ‘Tonight I’m going to hypnotize you, pasteurise you, and maybe even circumcise you.’
He also said that no one would be hypnotized against their wishes and that they would not have to do anything they didn’t want to do.
Before long, it was clear that some were more susceptible to Mr Roberts’ persuasion than others and those who were not falling into his spell were led back into the audience.
In the end, Mr Roberts had six ‘victims’ on stage who would fulfill his every command, and collapse into their chairs every time he uttered the magic word: ‘Sleep.’
At first he made them feel as though they were on a hot holiday, and many appeared to be struggling to deal with the heat.
Other times everyone on stage was ‘answering’ their shoes as though they were their mobile phones, and playing imaginary pianos with their hands and feet.
Once several of them were told to ‘sleep’ while standing, with Mr Roberts catching them as they fell and lying them on the floor, before being ‘woken up’ to wonder how on earth they had ended up there.
Each time they came to, Mr Roberts asked the participants if it was possible for him to hypnotize them and they answer was invariably: ‘No.’
They were finally given what Mr Roberts described as: ‘Magic engineering from America that would make everyone in the audience look naked and beautiful,’ before being taken out of their trances.
Josh, who was himself hypnotized, said afterwards: ‘I remember some parts but only after I was shown the videos. We all thoroughly enjoyed being part of the show and I’m sure the audience did as well.
‘We were very happy with the turnout.’
Judging by the uproarious laughter throughout the evening and the comments immediately afterwards and in the days later, everyone seemed to have been massively amused.
Even for the skeptics in the audience it was hard to believe that the participants were acting – and if they were, it is time they hit the West End stage instead of the Masonic lodge stage.
Richard Roberts ensuring the participants are under his spell. 50_c39hypnotist04
Those on stage were convinced that their shoes had become their mobile phones. 50_c39hypnotist08
Mr Roberts made the participants think they were playing the piano and encouraged them to use their feet as well as their hands. 50_c39hypnotist11
At times, Mr Roberts put the participants on the floor before ‘waking’ them up. 50_c39hypnotist12
Those under Mr Roberts’ spell were amazed when they thought that they could reach inside their imaginary television sets. 50_c39hypnotist15
There was shock and delight when the ‘magic American technology’ allowed them to view the audience as naked! 50_c39hypnotist17