“Brilliant”, “achingly funny”, “master showman” and “respectful” are just some of the accolades freely bandied about following Matt Hale’s comedy hypnosis shows, Serving Suggestions.
Already up for a Perth Fringe Festival award for 2017, this show has audiences drooling with laughter. What makes Matt’s productions so successful is that he is a true gentleman, respectfully never humiliating a cautious audience but invoking the “best experience of my life” as one stage volunteer quipped to me under a trance-like puppy crush. Matt’s shows are chicken-free but the punters sure know how to put on a fun act under his spell.
At first, the average audience member is curious yet somewhat fearful of going up on stage to be hypnotised, as was I on my first foray into hypnosis on Matt’s sneak preview. Yet the growing anticipation of myself and other patrons prior to the show, and the willingness of volunteers to fight it out for a revered spot on stage, is testament to the amazing experience that Matt’s deliciously hilarious show offers. Audiences thrive on and boast about their exhilarating experiential and uplifting induction into the mysterious world of hypnosis with a witty comedic bent that had me and them eating out of their master showman’s hand.
From the rapturous bullet train start (so imaginative and talented) to the side-splitting finale, the audience was in love. Perth-bred Hale is not only a master in the art of comedy hypnosis, but his fiercely friendly smile and charm are delivered with such clever timing and intuition, audiences ache in laughter and bemusement. I must confess having experienced two shows from separate vantage points: as audience voyeur and stage volunteer, I had a blast participating but also thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to laugh at others, in a nice way of course!
One of the best aspects of attending Matt Hale’s Fringe show at the funky Noodle Palace and rooftop bar, is that it is such a fun and delightful experience, where the energetic atmosphere charges the audience prior, during and after each show. The alfresco pop-up outdoor venue is perfect; where volunteers can later chat about their escapades of hilarity. Matt, the social butterfly, savours the post-show meeting and greeting, taking obligatory selfies with his dutiful audience, which all make for a memorable and utterly enjoyable night out.
With a fast growing number of fans and accolades of “pure genius”, it is no wonder, his latest show: clever, mesmerising, mind blowing and such a delight, leaves the audience chanting “he’s the man!” Indeed, when Cream profiled his show last year, we left the review on those three words. For now, we’ll let him run with the gag! Annette McCubbin
Matt Hale’s ‘Serving Suggestions’ is on at Perth Fringe World at Noodle Palace up until February 19.
‘Serving Suggestions’ is also on at the Sunset Verandah in Scarborough on Sunday 29th January and at Hubub in Mandurah on Sunday 5th February.
For tickets and more information visit www.fringeworld.com.au.
Photography and video by Annette McCubbin.