Tickets are going on sale this week for home grown hypnotist Robert Temple’s first show at the Sunderland Empire.
He is appearing there on 1 August during a break from his marathon Live and Outrageous UK tour which will see him perform at 35 theatres – including the Customs House in South Shields on 3 May – from Dorset to Dundee.
Robert’s dad was a stage hand at the Empire and, growing up in Sunderland, the young budding magician saw countless pantomimes, shows and concerts.
“My dad’s 75 now and still tells stories about the old days at the theatre, so I suppose it’s about time I had stories of my own,” said 30-year-old Robert.
Despite his age, he already has a colourful career. The council in Manchester tried to ban his show, he cut his teeth performing hundreds of shows for audiences of lively tourists in Kos and Corfu and fresher students at Sunderland University, and although his hair is red what comes out of his mouth is definitely blue.
“It’s the sort of humour I like – a bit Chubby Brown and end of the pier show – but with the added element of hypnotism which means the audience and, of course the volunteers on stage, don’t quite know where they’re heading,” said Robert.
The show is edgy and outrageous but falls in line with the strict regulations governing stage hypnotism. “Nobody has ever done a show like this on a scale like this. The audience knows what’s in store when they buy a ticket and nobody is hypnotised against their will. It’s an evening where people can forget all about their inhibitions – literally,” he added.
Robert’s stage persona and appearance are in stark contrast to the angelic-looking young boy who posed for pictures with his hero Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee.
He was one of the UK’s best young magicians, but turned his back on magic when he was a teenager and discovering hypnotism.
“When somebody shows you a card trick you think it’s clever, but you know it’s a trick. With hypnosis there’s this air of mysticism. That’s one of the reasons why people come to my shows, but it’s just the starting point for the entertainment,” he said.
Paul Daniels – who died in 2016 – remains his inspiration. “We’d talk at magic conventions and I would e-mail him and he would reply. He didn’t ever come to the North without me seeing his show. Watching him perform was like attending a master class for anybody wanting to be involved in comedy entertainment,” said Robert.
The Hypnotist: Live and Outrageous comes to the Customs House, South Shields on 3 May and the Sunderland Empire on 1 August (tickets are on sale from 29 March).
Details of the tour and tickets are available at https://roberttemplehypnotist.com/ and you can also watch Robert in action – red hair but no blue mouth – in these videos: