Monday, February 17, 2014

Steampunk Harlequin Hypnosis Show

The Steampunk theme of this show caught my monocle one day while I was cruising Facebook. Being an active member of the Vancouverites for Steampunk community, I'm always open to new adventures.

After perusing the Harlequin Hypnosis show website I chose their showing at the Inlet Theatre, Port Moody.

We donned our Steampunk gear and headed out for an evening of adventure.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect. About one third of the crowd were dressed in steampunk finery. There were gadgets and trinkets to buy. The theatre itself is in a fine civic building. We enjoyed viewing the 2013 photo of town council dressed in 1903 finery and all the vintage photos of the town.

The show was due to start. The story revolves around Katie, a little girl who is upset at being left with her governess, while her older sister gets to go on high adventures with their Dad. Katie suddenly goes missing, leaving the Captain, Navigator, Deck Hand and their minions to search for her.

Volunteers from the audience were chosen to be "hypnotized". Captain Rob, the lead hypnotist, put the minions to sleep. When they were required to perform their duties, they were awoken and made to do all sorts of crazy things. 

Much hilarity ensued. While they were counselled that they wouldn't have to do anything embarrassing, I beg to differ. Rob was kissed by one young lady. Some minions fought over the attentions of others. At one point Captain Rob's cat went missing. This had to be the funniest part of the show for me as the minions raced all over the theatre searching for kitty.

After visiting a lighthouse and an island full of hungry cannibals the crew realized that they had gotten sidetracked over exactly where Katie was.

The mystery was solved. Katie had been messing with the entire crew and she was in fact, not really missing. The whole spectacle had been a waste of time.

The minions were allowed to go home.

While we enjoyed the show, I wouldn't have minded a bit more back story and less audience participation. Some of the minions departed the stage early, as they were wearing out after an hour under hypnosis. How this can be accomplished I'll leave to the crew, whether through special effects or more acting from the hypnotists.

As the show played out it came to the point where I didn't really care where Katie was, but rather, where was that darn cat?


  1. Very well put! We're glad you enjoyed the show. We were thrilled to see so many people in the audience dressed in steampunk style. And yes, you are right about the back story. One of the challenges of a show like ours is that there is no other show quite 'like ours'. Story development is very spontaneous and has to be improvised at times. Generally I think the audience is so engrossed in the fun of the night that we get cut a little slack.

    We are next appearing at The Orpheum Annex, downtown Vancouver on March 22nd. In September the plot switches completely as we enter into an entirely new season of The Harlequin Hypnosis Show. All I can tell you about it is that you, and all our steam punk friends are going to love it!

    Rob Hadley

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