By Paddy Mc Geoghegan
It was a strange night in DCU but a night that echoed with laughter and was filled with excitement. Students were shocked and entertained as they witnessed firsthand the revival of Michael Jackson before their very eyes and not one, but TWO Madonna’s performing before them. What more could we want from a free event? Oh, that’s right, a dog that hypnotises people. The world-renowned Hypnotist Hugh Lennon and his Hypnodog were in town.
As we filed into an ever more packed Venue, there was undoubtedly a feeling of scepticism. Hushed whispers of “why are we even here?” and the usual “people are planted in the audience.” Little did they know that they would remain in the venue until their sides were sore from laughing and their scepticism was dismissed.
As the slick hypnotist walked onto the stage, he oozed confidence and the audience instantly knew that this man had been doing this for years. Speaking in a low, hypnotic (duh), tone he called for volunteers.
Now DCU students are known for having the craic but even Mr Lennon was surprised when he had to send people down from the stage as there were too many volunteers.
Fifteen volunteers began the night on stage – by the end of the night there would only be seven. And they were no longer volunteers, now they were the stars of the show.
Watching the hypnosis itself was surreal. You see people completely zone out as they were asked to focus on a fixed point whilst eerily soothing music was played. All the while, the master puppeteer, whispers suggestively. It was truly a sight to behold for the lucky students attending. Once the volunteers were under, the craic truly began in the Venue.
The first thing that filled the Venue with laughter was the ultimate spooning session between 13 people. As Lennon whispered to his victims to clutch onto the person to their right so they wouldn’t fall off their seat while under his spell. Some of our volunteers were very hands on and looked like true pros when it came to a good spoon.
Next, Mr Lennon managed to break Irish temperature records in his show, subjecting the volunteers or victims as you could now probably call them, to the heat of a scorching 150 degrees and absolutely
freezing minus 40 degrees. This was the first major pop of the night as the crowd watched the volunteers squirm in the varying temperatures.
He made them think they were the world’s greatest music conductor, rose buds and method actors amongst other objects and people. The master of ceremonies then decided to zone in on one volunteer, Rebecca.
He made Rebecca believe that the number seven did not exist. We watched as she counted “one, two, three, four, five, six, eight, nine, and 10”. And then to make matters worse for the poor girl, absolute horror was etched on her face when she began to count her fingers and noticed there was an extra one there. Absolutely horrible for her – hilarious for us.
Following further torture of the volunteers which saw ballet dancing and one volunteer getting arrested for being extraordinarily stoned, Mr Lennon decided it was time to take it up a notch. He decided that some volunteers should now believe he was invisible.
By simply moving a handkerchief, a chair and eventually, a toy shark Mr Lennon made the unlucky duo of James and Rebecca act like they were the stars of Paranormal Activity. This segment ended with James taking evasive action and charging off the stage, fleeing a shark that was ominously floating towards him.
After many more laughs, the volunteers were then told that they had to stand before the audience and tell us the biggest lie they could think of. It was side-splittingly funny as one by one they filed up and told us the most hilarious lies. But the award for the biggest lie had to go to James, who confidently strode forward to the middle of the stage, grabbed the microphone and announced, “MY MAM GAVE BIRTH TO A ZEBRA.”
After various other segments including a fine display of the volunteers’ knowledge of the Martian language, it was time for the main event; it was time for the Hypnodog.
The room became tense and expectant. Never before had so many people moved to the edge of their seat for the arrival of one of our furry friends.
As the hypnotist took hold of his pet and friend, no one really knew what was going to happen. He asked the volunteers to get onto their honkers on the stage and as he held the dog away from them, he asked them to look directly into the pooch’s eyes as he turned the dog around. And one by one… they dropped. All were in a deep state of hypnosis after looking into the dog’s eyes. It was truly amazing, unbelievable yet believable if you witnessed it first-hand.
It was a strange night in DCU but one that every student in attendance enjoyed. The sceptical whispers had disappeared. The burning question now being whispered as we left was “How can I get my dog to do that?”