A Day With the World’s Fastest Hypnotist

sean head

Sean Andrews – The World’s Fastest Hypnotist

Jane Osborne’s  life is wonderfully full, and busy. Sometimes too busy. Last week she  had the pleasure of a day’s training with internationally renowned hypnotherapist Freddy Jacquin at the UK National Hypnotherapy Conference in London.

fred

Jane with Freddy Jacquin

Simultaneously, Sean Michael Andrews, the World’s Fastest Hypnotist was also offering a day’s training at the same venue. But she  could not be in two rooms at once. Fortunately, she had a solution. She deputised me  to attend, and report back. What a day I  had including teaming up with Sky TV’s Hypnotherapist Ali Campbell who was taking tips from Sean too.

ali c

Celebrity Hypnotherapist Ali Campbell

The World’s Fastest Hypnotist Sean Michael Andrews has taught hundreds of hypnotists in seventeen countries how to perform hypnotic inductions skilfully, effectively, and most importantly, safely.  And now I know how to do it.

sean in action

Sean in action

Sean Michael Andrews is a graduate of Regents College. He is a Master Practitioner of NLP and a certified Instructor with IMDHA. Sean is the Supervising Instructor for the Dave Elman Hypnosis Institute and resides in Augusta, Georgia. He holds a black belt in Taijutsu Karate. 2013 MAHC and 2018 IACT Hypnotist of the Year, Sean is proclaimed the World’s Fastest Hypnotist and is performing on stage in Las Vegas later this year.

worlds fastest hypnotist

 

In my group was Ali Campbell, hypnotherapist to the stars including Katie Price, Kelly Rowland and Mica Paris . before the day was out I was hypnotising him! Ali was kind, personable and incredibly generous with his time, telling me of celebrity clients which it would be indiscrete to repeat. However I can say that if you think of a glamorous singer, actress, or celebrity, Ali probably knows her.

world fastest pic

Me, Sean and the team, Ali is on my left, third from right

 

I came away with videos, books and techniques which have revolutionised my thinking – watch out!

http://www.alicampbell.com/

http://www.worldsfastesthypnotist.com/

 

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

NEC – Well Being Show, 1st – 3rd Nov, 2019

nec1
I have had numerous enquiries from within the MBS community about Jane Osborne’s experiences of exhibiting at the above event. Rather than reply individually I thought that I would do a blog to both reply to one and all, and, gather our own thoughts.

nec3
Jane has been exhibiting seriously at MBS/ Well Being shows as a Past Life Regressionist for around three years now, although she has worked as a Regressionist for far longer. One of her earliest forays into the exhibition world was working with Paul Williamson, a Past life Regressionist, based in Australia, at Olympia, London, a show run by the same organisers as this event.

nec 2
The Well Being Exhibition market is certainly in a state of flux at the moment for reasons that are well documented. Amongst the foremost issues are online sales for retail goods, competition from associated fairs and festivals whose propositions overlay Well Being, and a rise in standards and customer expectations across the shows and festivals market.

 
It is expensive to exhibit. Just over £1000 for three days. It is exhausting, 10am – 6pm Friday and Saturday, 10am – 5pm Sunday. It is tiring. A chair is essential, as is comfortable footwear. Set up is on Thursday. We were lucky living just three quarters of an hour from the NEC. But for those based further afield, by far the majority, there is overnight accommodation to pay for, which including food is another £100 a night. Spiritual retreats were being sold for £2700 ( mine are a bargain £345 !), customised kettle drums for £1400. The stakes are high.

 
It is also expensive for visitors. £15 entry ( varies), £16 park ( on the day). A bit of petrol to travel there, and it is £50 for a couple just to go through the doors. This has two direct consequences. The clientele are affluent, you have to be to afford £50 just to arrive. They stay all day to squeeze full value out of their up- front investment.

 
Visitor traffic was measured in the several thousands a day. The seats and rest areas soon filled up. Pleasingly, the profile of visitor was noticeably younger than at normal Well Being shows. I would say that 40 % were under forty years old, with more men too than usual.

nec6 group
There was much that I liked. The performance stage for music, mantra and song attracted big crowds. Bespoke marquees hosted Buddhist gatherings, Chill Out Zones, drumming and talks. There were hundreds of stalls offering variety to match. The idea of putting all the Mediums in one place, in one open marquee, with a central booking point, worked well. It was a delight to find old friends Kassee and Richard at their Shungite Jewellery stand, Stephanie King and Flavia Kate Peters and Barbara Micklejohn- Free, the latter of whom can be seen on stage below.nec4
Talks and workshops are a thorny subject at Well Being shows. Here, the numbers were dramatically pared back to around eight a day with a flat £15 a head charge from which the speaker took a cut. There were some free talks in performance tents, but not many, and with limited capacity, always full. The paid talks were well attended, the floor was not denuded of visitors by a plethora of talks, and the more popular speakers were handsomely rewarded.

nec5 tent
It was a delight to also have a decent range of food with juice bars, coffee bars, fresh pizza ovens, vegan, vegetarian, and fresh meat options, tellingly many retired to the on site pub with food too. Why so many other Well Being shows deny their customers a glass of wine, and restrict food choices, eludes me.

 
Downsides? The hall was by no means full of stalls, I estimate that around 20% was screened off. Although the standard of stalls was high, there was no anchor stall, no large sound bath, no large aura photography stand, which in the past have dominated this show.

 
Overall, it was a fine show, very well organised. Will we be back next year? Yes.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Two Trains Running – Derby Theatre

 

postrer

Two Trains Running – Derby Theatre
****
This was a bold production for Derby Theatre to show. Two Trains Running is written by American playwright August Wilson, the sixth in his ten-part series The Pittsburgh Cycle. The play premiered on Broadway in 1993 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Set in 1969, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, on one level it is about race in America at the end of a turbulent decade, characterised by the struggle for Civil Rights for the American born Afro- Caribbean community. Yet the writing transcends that. The “Two Trains Running” are life and death. It also spotlights the subjugation of women at the expense of men within the Black Power movement and the economic fragility of life on the fringes of the American capitalist dream.

2 trains 1

The time and place have an unexpected resonance for myself, a white man in late middle age, in Derby. For as a youth I lived in America, on the Eastern Seaboard, in the late 60’s. The wonderful costume, stage set, dialogue, and sense of place transporting me back fifty years, its authenticity exact.

 

Director Nancy Medina, with English Touring Theatre, has a daunting challenge in presenting this story to a British audience in an accessible way – and succeeds. The play is long, the dialogue wordy, sometimes self-indulgent, but there is a towering sense of nobility and dignity which pervades the evening from a very talented cast. “You don’t do nothing but sit around and talk about what you ain’t got.” Admonishes old timer Holloway, ( Leon Herbert) which is true, but is done with some style.

2 trains 2

The locality around the focal diner is set for demolition and redevelopment, As the community ostensibly gain Civil Rights, so their landscape is being taken away from them. Restaurant owner Memphis is holding out for a fair price for his premises, but has scant regard for the memory of Malcolm X providing much help. The post world war two optimism and economic growth seeping away before their very eyes and emptying tills.

 

Andrew French plays Memphis Lee with a commendable stoicism, Derek Ezenagu shines as the tortured Hamborne, desperate to claim his ham for a job he did for a white butcher, but has still not been paid for.

stage crop

The play is littered with incidental detail which carries with it far greater importance. A wrecking ball hovers over the set, beautifully crafted by Frankie Bradshaw, ready to strike- everything. The only person making a steady living is West the undertaker, majestically portrayed by Geoff Aymer. Anita Joy Uwajeh is compelling as Risa the young woman self- harming to make herself unattractive to men.

 

It is the richness of the characters, and characterisation, which distinguishes this show. It shines a powerful light on Black History in America whilst simultaneously celebrating the resilience of the human spirit and the hope that something better is coming.

Posted in Behind the Arras Reviews | Tagged | Leave a comment

Kyrenia Castle, Cyprus

 

Harbour

The Harbour, a view King Richard 1st would have taken in upon conquering the castle in 1191.

I love castles. I love their physical solidity, even when ruined. They endure over the centuries. Their stone is steeped in power, domination, unexpected frailty, bravery, treachery, betrayal and the elements. They were built as statements, to control, protect, influence and consolidate. Constructed without the aid of slide rules, log- books, computers or the printing press, they are testament to the genius of their architects, the Rock Stars of their day, feted and courted by the rich and powerful and the hard work commitment and skill of the labourers and tradesmen who crafted them.

kc1
Animism is the belief that landscapes, and buildings, can hold memories. Surely no structures embody the possibilities of that belief than castles? Buildings which transcend the generations and centuries, holding secrets and stories.

kc2
Britain is awash with castles, Wales particularly, Conway, and Caernarfon are amongst my favourites. Europe and the Middle East is no less rich in having these fortresses. Islands in the Mediterranean were vital strategically. They controlled trade routes, dominated and controlled the islands upon which they were built, and were outposts for competing empires. For Cyprus that meant Egypt in the south, the Persians, Assyrians and Phoenecians in the east, the Ottomans in the north, Greece, Venice and Italy to the north west, France and Great Britain beyond. Castles mattered.

kc3
Cyprus has seen human habitation since 10,000 BC. Kyrenia is a natural harbour and port on an easily navigated island. It is reasonable to assume that fortifications have been present since then, although archaeological evidence has so far only been found back to 7000 BC.


The castle sits at the approach to the harbour, a position whose advantages are timeless. High, thick walls comfort defenders, and the town, while making an aggressive statement to all who might threaten them. The current fortifications are based on the Venetian defences created in the 16th century, but before that lay a Crusader and Roman fort.

Although I visited in early October, the temperature was still around 32c. The first thing that strikes you after the visual impact of the walls, is the physical coolness that those same walls create within, that, and the bizarre sight of a probably Byzantine 12th Century Chapel, once outside the walls, but now, almost buried, within them.

chapel edit

 

King Richard 1st of England is the earliest recorded conqueror of the castle in 1191, en route to the third Crusade. Standing on the walls looking over the ancient harbour you glean a sense of what he would have seen standing on the walls, victorious. The Venetians subsequently installed cannon positions when they rebuilt the castle after numerous previous attacks and sieges as warfare moved on. It does feel impregnable, once it was besieged for four years.


Yet the most interesting aspect of the day was visiting the museum within the castle walls housing the Girne Wreck, a Greek Trading vessel that foundered around 2300 years ago, in the time of Alexander the Great. Its cargo of wine and almonds still in the hold and on display, the boat’s skeleton protected in a temperature controlled room. Fishing net leads and sail rigs give further insight into life on a boat which was probably already around 80 years old when it sank.


To wander around Kyrenia Castle is to explore recorded history, to touch the past, to connect with our ancestors in a physical, visceral way. Enjoying the views of the harbour, taking refuge in the cool tunnels, seeing the artefacts of their everyday lives before Christ was born. It is unusual in that it serves as a lightning rod for so many different cultures, not just one. With Northern Cyprus currently under Turkish control, as it was in the time of the Ottoman Empire, its story continues to unfold.

Posted in Blog | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Barrie Masters -Eddie and the Hot Rods

obit pic

As a young man I became accustomed to rock stars dying, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Ronnie Van Zandt ( the latter of whom I saw play live) most notably. It seemed distant, and there was always so much more coming to replace them. Like a teenage romance, they were quickly replaced. As old age beckons the conveyor belt of deaths amongst my musical peers increases. News of their demise tugging at my shirt tails. Now it is less about their musical greatness, more about the little patches they occupied in the tapestry of my youth.

ieddie live
Barrie Masters was not the greatest singer, or frontman. Eddie and the Hot Rods were not the greatest band. Indeed there was no “Eddie”. But as a teenager, the jingly jangly, Byrdsesque guitar on their hit record , “Do Anything You Wanna Do” was irresistible. News of his death, aged 63, stopped me for a few moments. The words, the sentiment, empowered me as a teenager, and now he is gone. It was no accident that their two other best songs were “Quit this Town” and a cover of “Get out of Denver”, great teenage records.

solo shot con
I saw them live in 78 at Leeds Uni. It was a difficult time for them. They had earned their spurs as a first division pub rock band, then had to weather the punk explosion, which they didn’t achieve. But headlining, that night, they were terrific. Masters was a consummate performer, prowling the stage, and eking every last ounce of energy out of “Do Anything…”, with the terrace style handclap for the chorus a visceral means of communication between fans and band.

eddie-hot-rods
Although they didn’t achieve much else, other than being a respected live act, no mean accolade itself, somehow they mattered, Masters mattered, their hits mattered. And now Barrie has quit this town for the final time.

Posted in Blog, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Lady Vanishes – Derby Theatre

 

lv poster 2

***
The play is synonymous with the 1938 British mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Margaret Lockwood and Michael Redgrave. The film itself was #based on the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White. This stage production has been adapted by Antony Lampard and directed by Roy Marsden ,best known for his portrayal of Adam Dalgliesh in the television dramatizations of P. D. James’s detective novels.

lv group station

 
Curtain up reveals a continental railway station, bedecked in Nazi Regalia. This is a Bill Kenwright production, guaranteeing an impressive set, and sumptuous costumes for a large cast which Chris Cumming choreographs pleasingly in the station scenes. The station itself, and surrounding hotels, are full as an avalanche has temporarily closed the railway line. Nazi officials strut, which, combined with the avalanche dangers, create a sense of foreboding as to what is to follow.

lv train
As the travellers converge on the platform so we are introduced to the different characters, a motley collection of what are now fairly standard stereotypes. Brexit casts an accidental shadow over the dialogue as a Nazi official promises that England is due for a shock very soon, and English toffs provide the template for Boris Johnson’s negotiating technique by speaking more slowly, but loudly, emphasising to Johnny Foreigner that they have to acquiesce because we are British. Comic, but awkward.

TLV-4088-900x600
Scarlett Archer excels in a beautiful purple suit as English socialite Iris Henderson, who discovers that her elderly travelling companion, Miss Froy, has disappeared while she was sleeping. She is the mainstay of the show, elegant, compelling, and convincing as someone whose sanity comes into question as the very existence of Miss Froy, played delightfully by Gwen Taylor, is brought into doubt.

lv duo
I remember Taylor in her career defining role as Amy battling her nemesis Johanna Van Gyseghem, Linda. While the years have rolled on, the twinkle in her eye remains, her trademark laconic, acerbic turn of phrase, still perfect.

lv quartet
Surprisingly there is a fair bit of comedy to be found, most of it delivered by spiffing Englishmen Denis Lill, as Charteris and Ben Nealon as Caldecott. The cricket loving duo appear oblivious to all around them politically, and physically. A sugar bowl is merely a handy receptacle to provide enough sugar cubes to demonstrate a contentious cricketing decision.

lv nazi

 
The set, by Morgan Large, sweeps from the expanses of galleried railway station to the intimacy of the train compartment, the climactic final scene in particular in the station is enhanced by steam and shadows, with a stirring musical score.

lv trio
Aficionados of the film will not be disappointed, and the age profile of the audience was skewed towards those who will have been familiar with the film. Well- acted, it is satisfying and lavishly presented. However, for me, despite all the good things, the stage version found it impossible to recreate the close- up claustrophobia that a train carriage, and compartment, generates. A slick veneer could not disguise a lack of intimacy in the production.

lv swordfight
The Lady Vanishes runs until the 12th October, and continues on nationwide tour.

Posted in Behind the Arras Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

One Man, Two Guvnors -Derby Theatre

One man
*****
This comedy, written by Richard Bean in 2011, performed to unanimous acclaim by the National Theatre in London, now starts a regional run in Derby, where it is playing for the first time ever.

one2
Bean is a prolific playwright with some twenty-six plays to his credit. Born and educated in Hull, his degree at Loughborough was in Psychology, providing the subject matter for his first play. He toured as a stand-up comedian in the early 90’s before going on to write comedy for the BBC and moving full time into theatre including, working with the Hull Truck Theatre Company. Entirely coincidentally Derby Artistic Director Sarah Brigham is also from Hull.

one man pic

Myself, before the action began

The plot is borrowed, and then adapted, from, Carlo Goldoni’s classic comedy, Il servitore di due padroni (The Servant of Two Masters) written in 1743. It unfolds not in Italy, but in Brighton in 1963, three hundred and twenty years later, for a modern farce, offering distinctly British badinage, physical laughs and live, onstage, skiffle music. Derby Theatre have again teamed up with the Queens Theatre Hornchurch for a co-production after their successful collaboration on “Abigail’s Party”.

one5

David O’Reilly as Francis Henshaw

One man, Francis Henshall, finds employment working for two guvnors, having been sacked from a skiffle band. Thereafter, murder, cross dressing, deception, misunderstandings, banging doors, hurried exits,serendipity and bad luck abound in glorious, comic, alchemy.

one6
David O’Reilly is wonderful as Francis, a man who will eat anything, even a letter, and for whom choosing between a meal on a plate, and sex on a plate, is an impossible conundrum. He combines quickfire wit, and outlandish visuals, in a glorious performance which carries the show. A Shakespearean Fool with a heart of gold who relishes audience reaction and participation.

one10

Sex with Dolly , or food? It’s a tricky one…

George Kemp revels in the role of posh, foppish, Stanley for whom politician Jacob Rees Mogg must surely have been an inspiration. Jack Brett as a failed aspiring actor combines affected enthusiasm and resigned theatrical ennui ,with Samantha Hull a stalwart foil to his linguistic excesses. Alice Frankham in male mode disguise playing Rachel’s twin brother Roscoe, has enormous fun, as does the audience, convincing and enjoying in equal measure. Rosie Strobel pouts and preens with buxom allure as Dolly, the girl who always gets her man, and does. David Cardy builds his Charlie around an Arthur Daley like persona, gruff, and always ready to duck and dive.

one7
The live skiffle band, The Rozzers, playing during, before and after the play, itself are excellent, featuring Oraine Johnson, Dominic Gee Burch, Jay Osborne and Tomas Wolstenholme ably assisted by Adam McCready ,Sound Designer and Kelvin Towse Musical Supervisor.

roz

The Rozzers in action

Director Sarah Brigham has done a superb job realising the comic potential of a fine script, ably supported by a strong cast. Neil Irish’s set and costume dazzle, morphing between dining room, reception room, pub exterior, and sea front with seamless ease. The stage has been extended to create a central runway with orchestra pit either side, increasing the proximity of the audience to the action. O’Reilly uses that intimacy to maximum advantage.

one9

Stanley and Roscoe 

Tim Skelly’s lighting shines. There is no slow scene setting in the first Act, instead it bursts with energy, vitality and laughs, setting a pace which the second Act has to work hard to sustain. The show defining meal scene at the end of the first Act in which Francis has to desperately keep his two guvnors apart is hilarious thanks to the sterling efforts of off -balance waiter Alfie (TJ Holmes), and neat audience participation.

one3

Waiter Alfie on his feet for a change

A rousing finale had the full house on its feet to acclaim an energetic, hardworking, and talented cast for a sparkling production which runs until the 28th September, before touring extensively nationwide, determined to leave no corner of the country untouched.

 
Gary Longden

Postscript.
The logistics of watching theatre when you are the parent of young children can be challenging. To tackle that, on Sunday 22 September, the theatre will provide a free crèche on site for those attending the 2:30pm showing of One Man Two Guvnors. The crèche is open to ages 0-12 years and will be available from 2pm until approximately 5pm when the show finishes. Places are limited so early booking is recommended.

Posted in Behind the Arras Reviews | Tagged , | Leave a comment