The controversial Newcastle-based comedy stage hypnotist Robert Temple is taking his red hair, blue mouth and outrageous show on a marathon tour of UK theatres in 2018.
The first leg, 17 venues in 19 days, includes a return to Manchester – where the council previously tried to ban him – and culminates in appearances in South Shields and Blyth before a further 50 dates later in the year.
“Nobody has ever done a show like this on a scale like this,” said 30-year-old Robert who was one of the best young magicians in the country before discovering hypnotism.
For the time being he has also turned his back on family entertainment, preferring to develop the show which over the past decade has delighted and shocked fresher students at Sunderland University
“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,” he said.
The show is edgy and outrageous but falls in line with the strict regulations governing stage hypnotism. “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,” added Robert.
That re-assurance, however, was not sufficient for the council in Manchester which – although finally allowing the show to take place – sent officials to make sure he did not commit any breaches of his licence.
Robert’s appearance and stage persona are a stark contrast with the angelic-looking young boy who posed for pictures with his hero Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee. He was so nervous during his first magic show – in front of a troop of brownies when he was 10-years-old – that his step-mother had to deliver the words while he performed his tricks in terrified silence.
But, during his late teens and early 20s, more than a thousand shows on the holiday islands of Kos and Corfu helped Robert evolve into the professional, innovative and daring performer he is today.
However, 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,” he said.
But at some point when Robert was a teenager, magic lost its magic. “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.”
Details of Robert Temple’s tour – which comes to the Customs House in South Shields on 3 May and the Phoenix Theatre in Blyth on 4 May can be found on his website https://roberttemplehypnotist.com/
You can also watch Robert in action – red hair but no blue mouth – in these videos:
Backstage Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIgF2-lJ3Io