Presented by Cherry Farrow
Reviewed 22 February 2020
Hypnosis is one of those acts, similar to magic, where the audience can have its doubts about the reality of what is happening before their very eyes. Cherry Farrow may give many reasons for you to believe, but it depends on the participants whether or not you leave with a believer or not.
Situated in the architecturally beautiful Sparkke at the Whitmore, which is also brimming with great beer and cocktails, the audience finds themselves seated in the light-filled Queen’s Room upstairs. As the bizarre background hypnotist hype-music fades, the audience’s MC and hypnotist for the day, Cherry Farrow is introduced and the audience learns that she is South Australia’s only female-comedy hypnotist and considered the fastest hypnotist in Australia.
Farrow begins to tell us about hypnotism, how it works and its many uses. Outside of comedy hypnotism, she utilises it within a therapy environment to help those who suffer from depression, PTSD and other mental illnesses. This is because, as Farrow explains, hypnotism helps unlock the power of the mind. To give the audience a small example of this, she has everyone stand-up and complete a small movement once, then twice to show the power of imagination and the mind. At this point, she has a strong argument for the success of today’s show.
To get started she needs volunteers, as with hypnosis shows – the performance requires audience participation.
As the seats fill on the stage fill (after a bit of a wait), the hypnotising begins. Repeated mantras seem to be key for the hypnotism to work, for example when Farrow is trying to get the volunteers to go to sleep she repeats “you’re going deeper, and deeper, deeper and deeper” over and over again in a monotone voice. Is this placing the volunteers in a trance? It’s hard to tell. Once Farrow is satisfied with the relaxed state of her participants she begins to make “suggestions” for the volunteers with the idea that they will take these on. One lady is told that she no longer has a mouth but she feels extremely thirsty (but cannot drink due to not having a mouth) while another is told that every time she is asked her name she forgets what it is and produces a new one.
Once the participants have been awoken, it’s difficult to discern whether or not the volunteers on stage are actually hypnotised and following the suggested actions by Farrow, or whether or not they feel they must fulfil what’s being asked of them as they have a room of people watching, adding pressure for them to ‘perform’ in their role. Some, at times, appear realistic in their hypnosis and provide moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, but most of the time it feels as though something is off and no-one is truly under a hypnotic influence – it really depends on the participants and your level of scepticism.
Unless you have some friends or family who truly believe in hypnosis that you can take along to the show so they can be enthusiastic participants on stage for your amusement, you may want to look into attending a different show.
Reviewed by Georgina Smerd
Rating out of 5: 2.5
Venue: Queen’s Room at Sparkke at The
Whitmore, 317 Morphett Street, Adelaide 5000
Season: 22 February – 1 March 2020
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $19.50 – $25